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While the funeral is one of mankind's oldest rituals, funeral practices are not exempt from adaptation and change. Today's families are instinctively seeking more environmentally responsible body care and disposition options, more hands-on participation in the funeral period, regardless of where they live or how much money they have to spend. The self-imposed policies and standard practices espoused by the funeral industry are being challenged on every level and for every reason by every generation, from aging Baby Boomers' quest for equality, affordability, and authenticity, right on down to Millennials' pragmatic, tech savvy entrepreneurial spirit. How are funeral professionals responding to the rapidly growing, persistent demand for green products and services? Will the industry be able to pivot and produce nimbly enough to save the profession from rising any higher on the endangered careers list? What does it mean to be an innovator in the field of green funeral service from the inside? And how can greenwashing be avoided? These writers provide a different glimpse into the world of funeral service than the standard mortuary fare. Many of them have devoted their lives to envisioning a more just, eco-responsible, and honorable way to care for our dead, while others are acting as the canaries in the coal mine, adopting green practices early and parenting them as they develop. All the thought leaders in this collection have one central theme in common: finding ways to honor our commitment to ethical and compassionate funeral practices that nourish the relationships between families and providers, the profession and the public, and human beings and the Earth.
About the Author
A career researcher, writer and editor, Lee Webster is the President of the National Home Funeral Alliance, Director of New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy, and provider of educational content for and prior member of the Green Burial Council Board of Directors. She is a hospice volunteer, home funeral guide, conservationist, and frequent speaker on home funerals, green burial, and funeral reform on the local and national front. Her career and volunteer service spans years in public relations and development for nonprofits, conservation groups, health agencies, private secondary schools, colleges and universities. Webster is the author of several home funeral and green burial books, and has published articles and provided interviews that can be found in various media outlets, including The New Republic, Boston Globe, PhillyVoice, National Geographic, Vice, National Public Radio, Natural Transitions, American Funeral Director, FuneralOne, Funeral Business Advisor, and many others. She is also a frequent presenter on green funeral reform nationally both inside the industry at state and national conventions such as ICCFA and NFDA, and to various service, public, and academic institutions and faith communities.