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10-05-20 Leaving a Greener Legacy: Choices for Natural Burial

Guest Ann Porto, Psy.D.  Volunteer Board Member, Funeral Consumers Alliance

With people becoming more environmentally and economically conscious in their everyday life purchasing decisions, such as food and energy, there is also a growing interest in greener end-of-life decisions, such as home vigils and green burials. By its purest definition, green burial is the interment of the body of a dead person directly in the soil, in a manner that allows the body to be naturally recycled. Green burial is also achieved by avoiding the toxic process of embalming and simply placing the body in a biodegradable coffin or shroud and burying the body in a natural setting. Naturally-landscaped cemeteries are ideal places for walking, spiritual contemplation and the discovery of intriguing stories, which will become evident as this episode goes story walking through Glenwood Cemetery and endeavors to alleviate the fear of Death.

Ann Porto, Psy.D.Guest Ann Porto, Psy.D. is a semi-retired clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist with over 35 years of experience in Rhode Island. She is a volunteer board member of the Rhode Island organization that represents the Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA). As a member of the FCA she educates as a public speaker on the topic of consumer rights, environmentally sustainable green burials and home vigils. Dr. Porto speaks about the importance of planning ahead for the inevitable, and how the alliance, as a free public resource, can provide recommendations that will save us time, energy and money. She and the other board members monitor the funeral industry’s compliance with government and health standards. They also advocate for consumer rights.

In addition, Dr. Porto is ordained as a lay non-denominational minister in the lineage of Mary Magdalene with the Sisterhood of the Emerald Fire in RI. She is the founder of Sacred Soul Journs and offers herself in service as an experienced meditation practitioner and coach, a medium, and a “qualified” energy medicine practitioner of Therapeutic Touch, Reiki and Laying-on of hands. Furthermore, Dr. Porto is a Hope Hospice volunteer and has taken courses in hospice, palliative, home vigils and assists with final wishes. Dr. Porto is passionate about green burial options and will talk about how loving our earth is rapidly becoming a more integral part of the funeral planning process.


Story Walking Photo Blog: Cemetery Story Walk –

Green Burial Council:

Funeral Consumers Alliance:

Cremation Association of North America:

To Find a death doula/funeral guide in the USA and Canada:

Sacred Soul Journs

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