Locals now have access to the Green Burials – Daily Local

It is never known who will appear at the Bridging the Community meeting, and this May 11 was no exception. Karin Bonifacine came to tell us about a nonprofit that she and two other women, Elaine Brooks and Marguerite Stabaz, began calling “Friends of Green Burial PA”. Their mission is to educate, advocate, and help Pennsylvania residents have access to green burials.

The response of the participants of the meeting was typical for our culture: “Are you really going to talk about death?” Karin quickly agreed that talking about death in public today is usually considered “unpleasant.” She goes on to say that death is the culmination of a good life on earth, and the burial process deserves a reflection of that life and the “bridge” that connects it to the next.

After the death of her father, who was a farmer and gardener and lived near the land, Karyn set out in search of a more natural way of burial. For her, it was incompatible with his life to be cremated, and the ashes kept forever in the mausoleum, or embalmed, and hermetically baked in a concrete shelter so that he lay underground for many years.

The Friends of Green Burial website says: “Green burial is the easiest and most natural way to bring a body back to Earth after death. It is a return to practices that have been used for thousands of years. Only in the last 100 years has embalming and the use of concrete vaults in cemeteries become the norm. Green burial is a way to leave a legacy that feeds the plants and does not create any pollution or waste.

Karin goes on to say: “There are so many reasons to learn about green burials in time today. First of all, most of us know that we, the living, are polluting our land, and the way we are now burying our dead is one of the contributions. Secondly, we live in the beautiful county of Chester, where 30% of our land is in the open, so a green burial is in line with the values ​​and philosophies we follow as people on this land. ”

So what is a green funeral? It is a burial without a concrete vault; burial without embalming; burial in a casing or biodegradable box; a burial that returns the planet and allows the Earth to do what it does best – recycle.

Older people may say I am planning a cremation or I already have a cemetery. Checking this out, I just learned that cremation uses a significant amount of natural gas, lasts 3-4 hours in a fire oven, reaching temperatures well over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and sends chemicals into the atmosphere so we can all breathe. Let’s talk about the negative impact on Earth!

Young people are feeling the effects of pollution on our land, in our air and water and know they have to deal with the effects. Perhaps it is they who will promote the value of Green Burials.

And the cemetery? Karin tells us that there is a National Green Burial Council organization that certifies cemeteries to ensure that part of their cemetery is “green”. This involves meeting the requirements for the land. So far, the directory in our area lists only the cemetery Old Kennett Meetinghouse Cemetery, 1009 W. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA 19348. In addition, there are models of local landowners who dedicate to this option an open space that is well suited to Chester County.

How about cemeteries being able to place green burials? Karin believed that most funeral directors are aware of this process, but she is grateful for the partnership with Funeral Home and Crematorium Matt Grake (, which specializes in green funerals and will provide this service.

If you start considering this option, you may have many questions. Carin Website ( has a page that answers some of the most frequently asked questions. One I spoke to asked why the human body is not considered a contaminant. Here I had to pause and realize that I am made of the same earth material – clay – and my adult body is about 60% water. No wonder I belong back to earth, providing the soil with nutrients and acknowledging my love for Mother Earth.

Karin describes her first phase of working around Green Burial as an education. When people see the value of this form of burial, there will be more inquiries to cemetery owners and burials, which creates demand. Ultimately, the customer is the place where the current burial practice is changing. We can just start asking, “Do you have a green burial option?”

Green Burial PA members are happy to hold free educational presentations.

“Kenneth’s Story – Shaping the Future of One Child” A book by Joan Holliday and Bob George about Kenneth can be purchased on Amazon and at the Mushroom Cap or Bookstore Resale in Kenneth. You can contact Joan Holliday at:

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