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Elizabeth Fournier of Cornerstone Funeral Services is the guest speaker at Estacada Library

PAMPLIN MEDIA PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Elizabeth Fournier is the author of the 'Green Burial Guidebook.' She will stop by the Estacada library later this week.

Death is often a difficult and complex topic, and Elizabeth Fournier is striving to educate people about the burial options that are available to them and their families.

Fournier, author of the recently published "Green Burial Guidebook" and owner of Cornerstone Funeral Services in Boring will speak from 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, July 13, at the Estacada Public Library, 825 N.W. Wade St.

"I want families to have all of the options possible. These are all the secrets that I'm happy to let families know about," she said.

There are a variety of ways in which to incorporate green burial into the end-of-life process. Fournier refers to these different options as "shades of green," because people can choose whichever they are most comfortable with. Some of the families she worked with have opted to use potted plants during services or carpool to cemeteries, whereas other opt to not be embalmed or forgo a metal casket or concrete grave marker.

One recent option for environmentally friendly burial is green cremation, also known as aqua cremation. The process uses pressurized water and sodium potassium chloride rather than heat to break down the body.

Fournier noted that the traditional method of cremation often uses many fossil fuels to reach the necessary temperature. Additionally, if the individual has a pacemaker or mercury fillings, these can radiate emissions into the atmosphere.

Fournier is happy to work with families in whatever direction they wish to take a funeral service.

"You can have a service that reflects how they lived their life," she said. "It's family empowerment. You don't have to turn to the funeral parlor and have them tell you what's next. I'm an advocate for green burial but I'm happy to help

families with anything that they need. They need to f

eel that they did the right thing."

Along with the "Green Burial Guidebook," Fournier' has also written two other books titled "The Green Reaper: Memoirs of an Eco-Mortician" and "All Men Are Cremated Equal: My 77 Blind Dates."

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