On Tuesday, Jan 11 at 12 noon, Eva Thompson will be giving a talk entitled “Green Burials” at Merryspring Nature Center in Camden.

Maine is fortunate to have two “natural burial” cemeteries where you can be buried as simply and naturally as possible. The toxins of embalming are not allowed, no vault is used, and a basic (even home-made) wood coffin or a simple shroud is preferred. In fact, Maine allows quite a lot of flexibility when it comes to end-of-life choices. In some cases one may be able to bury on one’s own property. If one should so choose, they are legally allowed to forgo the help of a funeral director and care for thier own dead at home.

During the talk, all the options will be compared: “typical funeral,” cremation, “green burial,” and a new process called “ Alkaline Hydrolysis” that may be coming to Maine soon – and look at what’s legal, what’s practical, what’s the best thing for the environment. There will be plenty of time allowed to answer individual questions.

Eva P. Thompson serves on the board of trustees for the Funeral Consumers’ Alliance of Maine, and is a member of Last Things (www.lastthings.net), both groups having a similar goal of educating the public to make funeral choices that are meaningful and affordable. From her parents she learned the importance of thinking through these things ahead of time, and insisting on paying for only those products and services that are meaningful to the family. The concept of “green burial” is a perfect blending of mutual interests in the environment and in burial options. Thompson is a trained hospice and bereavement volunteer, and is an ordained interfaith minister available to officiate at memorial services. She lives in Camden with her husband Mike.

This program is sponsored in part by The First. Merryspring members and all children attend talks free, non-members pay $5.

Merryspring is a member-supported, non-profit nature education center and park located at the end of Conway Road just off Route 1 by the Hannaford shopping plaza in Camden. For membership or other information, call 236-2239 or visit the website at www.merryspring.org .