November MTN Meeting: What is a green burial?

What is a “green burial”? Earth-friendly burials are designed to cooperate with the natural process of decomposition and to have a minimum impact on the environment. Typically they feature:

  • No formaldehyde-based toxic embalming chemicals
  • No metal or hardwood caskets. Only biodegradable containers, made of sustainable material such as pine, or biodegradable shrouds
  • No concrete grave liners or vaults.  (Minnesota state law does not require burial vaults, but most cemeteries do.)
  • No or a natural headstone/memorial
En route to shroud burial.
En route to shroud burial.

Learn more about green burials at our November 11 meeting with the owner of Prairie Oaks Eco Memorial Garden in Inver Grove Heights and the manager of Mound Cemetery of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota’s first certified green hybrid cemetery.

November 11, 7-9pm at the home of Linda Bergh, 4315 Xerxes Ave. Minneapolis. 612-927-0894. Free and open to all.

Minutes of Sept. 26, 2011 Meeting

Update from National Home Funeral Association Conference in Boulder: The conference was successful–lots of information. One development was that NHFA may offer a bi-annual conference schedule, with regional conferences possible in the alternate years.

About 20 people toured Prairie Oaks cemetery with developer Chip Fort. People thought the cemetery was lovely, and they like the variety of ecosystems. Some people felt that costs were high, but understood that green burial plots require double the space for a conventional grave. Steve Willwerscheid of Willwerscheid Natural Burial and Cremation said that some metro area cemeteries are open to shrouded bodies and bottomless vaults, and that many cemeteries will start to open areas for green burials once they perceive a demand for them. Since several people were unable to attend the Prairie Oaks tour, another one will be offered Monday, Nov. 14 at 11:30 a.m.

The next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at Linda Bergh’s home, 4315 Xerxes Avenue South, Minneapolis. Linda’s phone number is 612 927 0894. We will be showing the film Griefwalker.

Educational outreach:

  • Heather Halen and Rep. Carolyn Laine spoke to 200 attendees (including about 60 funeral directors) at the Forensic     Science Seminar sponsored by the Minnesota Coroners’ and Medical Examiners’ Association.
  • Heather and Carolyn will speak this month to a group of about 100 deaf senior citizens.
  • Heather, Carolyn, and Theresa Purcell, president of  the Full Circle Project (formerly Trust for Natural Legacies), will do a workshop at the Northland Bioneers convention November 12 at Macalester College. Gloria Steinem and Philippe Cousteau will be featured  speakers from the National Bioneers Conference.

Honoring Choices airs Oct. 28-31. The tpt website contains the programs that have already aired and all sorts of additional information, including extended interviews of MTN members Linda Bergh, Heather Halen, and Nancy Manahan.