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Environmental Journalist to Speak on the Growing Green Burial Movement

Saturday, October 23, 2010
12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Event Type:
Tracy Fritz
Location Details:
1606 Bonita Ave. (& Cedar) in Berkeley, 94709

Mark Harris, environmental journalist and author of Grave Matters, will speak about his experience documenting green burials while presenting slides that trace America’s movement away from toxic “traditional” funerals to more natural alternatives. His talk will be followed by a presentation on estate planning by attorney David D. Little. Organized by the Bay Area Funeral Society, the event will begin at 12 pm, on Saturday, October 23, at 1606 Bonita Ave. (& Cedar) in Berkeley. It is free and open to the public.

Eschewing chemical embalming and fancy caskets, burial vaults and costly funerals, a growing number of Americans are embracing a range of natural options, new and old, that are redefining a better way of death. Environmental journalist Mark Harris will examine this new green burial underground, leading you into natural cemeteries and domestic graveyards, taking you aboard boats from which ashes and memorial “reef balls” are cast into the sea.

In the morbidly fascinating tradition of Jessica Mitford, Harris will discuss the embalming process and the environmental aftermath of the standard funeral. He will also trace the history of burial in America, from frontier cemeteries to the billion dollar business that it is today, while reporting on real families who opted for more simple, natural returns.

Mark Harris is a former environmental columnist with the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. His articles and essays have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, E/The Environmentalist Magazine, Reader’s Digest, and Hope. He has been a guest on NPR’s Fresh Air and has been by interviewed CNN, MSNBC, ABC World News, U.S. News & World Report, and the Washington Post, among others.

After Harris’ presentation, attorney David D. Little will talk about the ins and outs of estate planning. Little has been a litigator for over nine years and has considerable experience in both the state and federal courts of Northern California. Now, his practice is focused almost exclusively on probate litigation, estate planning, as well as probate and trust administration.

The Bay Area Funeral Society (BAFS) is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization that educates funeral consumers about their rights and options so that they can make early and informed end-of-life decisions. Through its website, literature, and presentations, BAFS provides information about traditional, economical, green and home funerals. “Armed with information about their burial and cremation choices, consumers can resist high-pressure sales tactics and arrange a service that suits their taste and budget,” says Tracy Fritz, president of BAFS. “Whether it’s an elaborate event with a fleet of hearses and a pricey casket or a simple affair with direct cremation and a memorial potluck dinner, what matters is that it’s meaningful to the people involved.” For more information about BAFS or this event, visit, email tracy [at], or call 510-841-6653.
Added to the calendar on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 8:36PM
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