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Join us on November 16, 2023, at 2:00 PM EST, for the next presenters in the ICCFA Webinar Series, Emily Miller and Rachel Essig from the Green Burial Council.

Demographics and shopping data consistently suggest that families find environmental concerns important and would consider a green funeral. We are already seeing Millennials making arrangements, but their hesitations around chemicals and material waste do not have to mean a direct disposition and a discount rate. Eco-friendly funeral offerings can provide engaging options to families that might previously have preferred direct scatterings.

Around the profession today, earth-friendly ideas are making a big impact on our work, and this webinar offers a look at the most common ways that cemeteries and funeral homes are taking advantage of it. How can an established cemetery add natural burial to its offerings? What are the different levels of Green Burial Council Certification? What training is necessary for funeral home staff? Where will we make up the lost revenue from embalming, casket and vault? What options exist for biodegradable merchandise and what if the family wants to be creative? What about the alternative dispositions that have made the news lately?

The Green Burial Council hears from professionals and families all over who are already benefiting from natural burial services, and countless more who are asking for it in their area. Learn from those who have been (re)exploring this ancient offering how to meet this growing request.

Emily Miller is a licensed funeral director, embalmer and founder of Colorado’s first environmental Burial Preserve. Emily was working as a funeral home manager when she perceived a need in the market for a different type of cemetery with a native habitat mission. Opening a cemetery also opened a dialogue between the community and funeral service providers about what these services should look like, and Emily now advocates for a greener industry through education and outreach. She also volunteers on the Board of Directors of the Green Burial Council in the role of assisting funeral homes through the certification process, hearing perspectives from participating funeral service providers across the United States and Canada.

Rachel Essig is the Executive Director of River View Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. River View Cemetery is Portland’s oldest endowment care cemetery and has been offering natural burial and funerals since 2009 and is a certified funeral home and hybrid cemetery by the Green Burial Council. Rachel’s background is in habitat protection through Metro Regional Government’s land acquisition bond program. She became a cemeterian when Metro assigned her to manage fourteen historic cemeteries in their park’s portfolio. She’s presented at the ICCFA Annual Convention, the Cemetery Association of Oregon, Kates Boylston, California Funeral Institute and to the Oregon legislature. She’s a member of the Cemetery Association of Oregon’s legislative committee and is a current Green Burial Council board member. Rachel is working on a dedicated natural burial meadow within River View Cemetery. Rachel is motivated by providing a place for reflection and by serving everyone regardless of race, religion, gender, or economic condition.