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“We therefore commit this body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust”; If you have ever been to funeral service, you have probably heard this phrase from the Common Book of Prayer. Adopted by poets, authors, and politicians alike, the expression conveys that all humans are made from the earth and will someday return to it. However, the exact ways that our loved ones return to the earth is always changing. While coffin burials and cremation services have come to be the norm for end-of-life services, green burials have gained popularity as the more sustainable and affordable option to lay our loved ones to rest.

Each year, American burials together use over 827,000 gallons of toxic chemicals and 1.6 million tons of concrete. Every conventional burial contributes to the production of about 230 pounds of CO2 equivalent, and every cremation is equivalent to driving 600 miles, producing about 150 pounds of CO2 per body burned. Green burials aim to eliminate most, if not all, of the pollution created from a traditional funeral service by foregoing  embalming and opting to bury bodies in shrouds or caskets made of natural, bio-degradable, and non-toxic materials. Ultimately, Green burials honor the end of life by ensuring the preservation, protection, and nourishment of the natural environment for future generations.

Join our lecturers to learn about how green burials are changing the ways that we think about life, death, and the importance sustainability long after we are gone.

Streaming live here on explorers.org, our YouTube Channel, and our Facebook Live  Monday, November 29th at 7:00 pm ET.

Speakers

Ed Bixby

Ed Bixby is the owner and operator of Steelmantown Green Burial Preserve in Steelmantown, New Jersey, Destination Destiny as well as Purissima Natural Burial Ground in Half Moon Bay, California. Ed’s extensive background in land use and development includes being a licensed New Jersey real estate broker and the owner of Fox and Fox Builders, LLC. Ed’s experience in the development industry has provided keen insight into better land use practices and drives his passion for the natural burial movement and the benefits it provides to the present and future generations. Ed is the President of the Green Burial Council and has led presentations on natural burial for numerous organizations and has provided educational training for both funeral directors and cemeterians alike. Ed resides in southern New Jersey with his wife Helena and two daughters Ava and Mina.

Jonathan Leader

Jonathan Leader is the South Carolina State Archaeologist and has been with the University of South Carolina and SCIAA since 1989. After coming back stateside from the Pacific in the early 1980’s, he obtained a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Florida. He has worked nationally and internationally as a forensic archaeological recovery specialist, archeological geophysicist, objects conservator, and illegal artifact trade consultant. A member of traditional religious burial societies since he was fifteen, cultural and ecologically sensitive protection of burials is a priority. Jonathan is also an elected fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Royal Asiatic Society, Royal Geographical Society, and Royal Society for the Arts.

Anna Swenson

Anna Swenson is the outreach manager at Recompose, an ecological death care company based in Seattle, Washington, where she leads marketing, public policy, and community outreach for the green death care organization. Recompose is the first funeral home to offer the process of natural organic reduction, also known as human composting, which gently transforms humans into soil after death. Anna is originally from Arizona and enjoys house plants and tide pools.

Dean Fisher

Dean Fisher joined Mayo Clinic as a licensed funeral director in the Department of Anatomy in 1988.  He coordinated the “Anatomical Bequest Program” for the department and was active in other departmental and institutional activities, including serving as chair of the Deceased Patient Work Group. He is co-author of 26 scientific publications and abstracts.  Mr Fisher received his B.S. degree in mortuary science from the University of Minnesota in 1984. He was named an Associate in the Department of Anatomy by the Mayo Board of Governors in 2001.  He served for 6 years as a board member of the Cremation Association of North America (CANA).

He assisted in the research and development of the Alkaline Hydrolysis process while at the Mayo Clinic and has given numerous presentations on this technology in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.  In 2017 he moderated the first Alkaline Hydrolysis Summit in the world at the CANA Symposium in Las Vegas.

Mr. Fisher served for 12 years as the Director of the Donated Body Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine on the University of California at Los Angeles campus.  He has been instrumental in bringing this technology to California, working closely with State, County and City officials.

November 29,2021
November 29, 2021
7:00 pm ET
7:00 pm ET
Ed Bixby, Jonathan Leader, Anna Swenson, Dean Fisher
Ed Bixby, Jonathan Leader, Anna Swenson, Dean Fisher
On to Higher Exploration – Personal Recycling

Personal Recycling

Join our lecturers to learn about how green burials are changing the ways that we think about life, death, and the importance sustainability long after we are gone. Featuring Jonathan Leader, Ed Bixby, Anna Swenson, and Dean Fisher.
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