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THE GREEN BURIAL GUIDEBOOK: Everything You Need to Plan an Affordable, Environmentally Friendly Burial
by Elizabeth Fournier

THE GREEN BURIAL GUIDEBOOK: Everything You Need to Plan an Affordable, Environmentally Friendly Burial by Elizabeth Fournier

Despite the widespread attention garnered by Jessica Mitford's 1963 exposé of the funeral industry, The American Way of Death, the American way of death still includes average funeral expenses of between $8,000 and $12,000. What's more, every year conventional burials in the U.S. bury 800,000 gallons of embalming fluid, containing carcinogenic formaldehyde; hundreds of thousands of tons of wood, steel, copper, and bronze caskets; and millions of tons of concrete vaults. There is a better way and Fournier, affectionately dubbed the "Green Reaper," walks readers through it, step-by-step. With green burial and home funeral basics to legal how and what's; choices in practices (at home, at sea, etc.); and even detours into examples of celebrity green burials; this is comprehensive and compassionate guidance. The idea of a "good death" has been much discussed. Fournier points the way to good post-deaths, ones that consider the environmental well-being of the planet and the economic well-being of loved ones.

Elizabeth Fournier is the owner and operator of Cornerstone Funeral Services in Boring, Oregon, the first green funeral home in the Portland metropolitan area. She works as a green mortician and eco-educator, and is affectionately known as the Green Reaper because of her passion of home funerals and natural burials. Elizabeth has sat on the International Board of Directors for North America Natural Burial for the past five years. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the Green Burial Council, the environmental certification organization setting the standard for green burial in North America. www.elizabethfournier.com


“The landscape of death care is shifting, and Elizabeth Fournier is a wonderful guide. She brings us gently through green burials, home funerals, and more. The Green Burial Guidebook is essential for anyone planning for a sustainable death-care experience.” – Katrina Spade, founder of Recompose

“The Green Burial Guidebook is a comprehensive treasure trove of information and personal experiences. It sheds light on the cemetery industry and the grassroots movement that seeks to return after-death care to what it used to be: families lovingly caring for their deceased in a final act of kindness. Bravo!” – Ed Bixby, president of the Green Burial Council

“Elizabeth Fournier introduces The Green Burial Guidebook as a ‘simple, straightforward guide,’ and it is—but it’s also much more. This book is lovely, thoughtful, and beautifully crafted, and Fournier is the gracious guide at your side.” – Mary Woodsen, founding president of Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve

“A straightforward handbook on more sustainable and meaningful death care in the United States and how to plan for it.” – Suzanne Kelly, PhD, author of Greening Death: Reclaiming Burial Practices and Restoring Our Tie to the Earth

“[Fournier’s] writing is excellent, easy to read, and logical from beginning to end.” – Seattle Book Review

“This ‘eco-mortician’ has a fascinating story to tell that will resonate with anyone who has, or will someday, lose a loved one. In other words, everyone.” – US Urns Online