Grave Matters and Green Burials - Mark Harris #36

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In this episode of ReWild Yourself! podcast, Mark Harris — author of Grave Matters — gives us an introduction to the green burial movement. He explains the many ways in which green burial is a better alternative to traditional modern burial practices.

Episode Breakdown:

  • History of green burial
  • The invasive process of embalming
  • Purpose of modern day embalming
  • Impact of having less interaction with the dead
  • The burial vault
  • Green cemeteries 
  • Mark’s personal burial plans
  • How green burial works
  • The green burial movement
  • Mark’s mission

We may be short circuiting the whole grief process by looking at a body that doesn’t even look like it’s dead. Tweet it!

Instead of leaching all of these toxic chemicals into the environment, why don’t we let mother nature run her course. Tweet it!

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Meet Mark

Mark Harris is a former environmental columnist with the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. His articles and essays have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Reader’s Digest, E: The Environmental Magazine, Hope, and Vegetarian Times. His profile of a foster care community for Chicago Parent won a journalism award for feature writing. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Mark lives with his family in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

For Grave Matters, Mark has been interviewed by Fresh Air host Terry Gross and appeared on CNN, MSNBC, ABC News and the CBC. His views on green burial and funeral matters have been reported on in the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and People magazine, among others. Working with the board of the Fountain Hill Cemetery in eastern Pennsylvania, he established the first natural burial ground in the Lehigh Valley,Green Meadow.

He speaks regularly to college students, church congregations, hospice workers, home funeral providers, consumer-friendly funeral advocates, and funeral directors about green burial and funeral issues.

A graduate of Stetson University and the University of Chicago, Mark is an adjunct instructor at Moravian College and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. His current book project focuses on green homebuilding.

Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.