Re-envisioning Funerals and Burials: A Discussion on New Practices and Needed Policies

A video of this discussion on June 10, 2015:

There are about 2.4 million funerals in the U.S. every year, and the average funeral costs ,000-,000. Increasingly, publicly traded corporations are buying or establishing funeral homes. As the funeral industry grows along with our aging population, we have an opportunity to re-imagine the funeral and burial marketplace in ways that support independent home funeral guides and artisans, green burials, and other community-based memorial practices.

A panel of those who are working to grow a viable field of practice for home funeral practitioners will present, take questions, and discuss ideas. We’ll learn about family rights, the state and local laws that inhibit the diversification of the funeral industry and discuss strategies for change. Together, we’ll discuss the future of death care, opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, and ways to support positive change in this field.


Tom Long, Founder, Grounded Guild

Norman de Vall, Golden Gate Burial Services and former Mendocino County Supervisor

Jerrigrace Lyons, Final Passages

Barry Vogel, Attorney, Counselor & Mediator and Host and Producer of Radio Curious

Sharon Ponciano, Alternative funeral and burial activist

Moderator: Megan Amaral

Host: Janelle Orsi, Executive Director, Sustainable Economies Law Center

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