- Email Your Representatives (updated scripts below)
- Read our Facts Sheet
- Come to one of our informational events (schedule below) or schedule one in your community
- Sign a Letter of Support (see below)
- Participate in our testimonial flyer campaign (see below)
EMAILING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES
Script for Contacting Vermont Representatives about Bill H.3
Thank you for being willing to contact your Vermont Representatives about Bill H.3. Below is a basic script for help in composing your email. This is the second time the House has had the chance to vote on Bill H.3 so the script has been updated. State Legislators do not have direct phone lines, but you can find their email addresses at: http://legislature.vermont.gov/people/search/2018
Remember: These scripts are just suggestions. The more you can personalize your message, the more effective it will be! Feel free to elaborate on why the bill is important to you (examples: I want a green burial, I want all Vermonters to have the option of a green burial, or I think it is important that our burial practices benefit the environment). Please sign your email with your full name and address so that your State Senator knows you are a voting constituent.
When contacting your Representatives use this basic template and be sure to incorporate at least some of the points below.
“Bill H.3, to change the required minimum burial depth to at least 3.5 feet, is returning to the House after unanimously passing in The Senate. The House General Committee unanimously voted to accept the Senate Amendment. Bill H.3 is important to me. As your constituent, I hope I can count on your support.”
- Bill H.3 provides the option for people to be buried in the most environmentally efficient way possible by placing the body in the active layers of the soil where it can decompose rapidly and its elements can be used as nutrients by the surrounding environment without the risk of being disturbed by scavengers.
- This bill completes Act 25 (2015’s Natural Burial Ground Act) by allowing for environmentally efficient green burials, which maximizes the ecological benefits of burial for those who wish their burial to have a positive impact on the environment.
- Vermont is one of only three states to have a required minimum burial depth, and one of only two that prohibits the option of environmentally efficient green burials. 32 states have no burial death legislation at all.
- Raising the required minimum burial depth to at least 3.5 feet does not introduce new burial practices to Vermont, rather it eliminates the discrepancy between the minimum burial depth for children and adults.
- Burial at 3.5 feet is in accordance with the standard set by the Green Burial Council nearly 30 years ago. Graves at this depth are not a risk for disturbance by scavengers.Thirty-eight states and Washington DC have green burial cemeteries that allow interment at this depth.
- Raising the required minimum depth to at least 3.5 feet helps protect groundwater by keeping bodies out of the seasonal high water table, protects and creates habitats such as woodlands and pollinator meadows, and allows people to choose a burial option that is in accordance with their values.
- This bill does not remove any of the safeguards regarding cemeteries or burial, or the autonomy of individual cemetery commissions to decide whether or not to offer this option in their cemeteries.
- In the Senate an amendment was added to make it perfectly clear that raising the required minimum burial depth does not take away the option for people to be buried in another manner.
- The House General Committee, which has heard all the testimony related to H.3, unanimously accepted the Senate amendment. It had previously unanimously supported the bill as written when it went to the House Floor the first time and passed by an overwhelming majority, and recommends the House concur with the Senate in this final vote.
- As your constituent I hope I can count of you to vote yes on Bill H.3 and make green burial an option for all Vermonters.
“Green Burial and The Vermont Law” These events will feature the screening of a 20 minute documentary about green burial, followed by a brief presentation about green burial and the bill to change the mandatory minimum burial depth and discussion. Hosted by End of Life Specialist and Green Burial Advocate, Michelle Acciavatti and Wildlife Biologist and Green Burial Advocate Carl Anderson
Upcoming dates are listed below. For a list of previous events please check Do you want an event in your community? We’ll come back even if we’ve been to your community before, as long as you can guarantee at least 10 people will be there. So far we’ve reached over 100 people at these events and we plan to keep going.
April, TBD, Morrill Memorial and Harris Library, 220 Justin Morrill Memorial Highway, Strafford, VT
April, TBD, Barton Public Library, 100 Church Street, Barton, VT
…..More Locations and Dates to come. Please read this post if you’d like us to have an event in your community!
LETTER OF SUPPORT- please sign with your name and city/town name and email to email@example.com
As a Vermonter I feel it is important to live in an environmentally conscious way. Green burial is a way that a person’s environmental values can continue to be honored even after they die. I believe everyone should be able to choose a green burial, whether it be on their own land, in a designated natural burial ground, or their local cemetery.
Because of this belief I support changing the burial depth from at least 5 feet for adults to at least 3.5 feet deep, as it already is for children. This guarantees the maximum environmental benefit from green burial. I ask that my State Senators hear and respect my voice and pass Bill H.3 so that this type of green burial is an option in Vermont.
Testimonial Flyer Campaign
Answer one of the questions below and email your answer, along with a scanned copy of the release form with your name, town, and (optional) age, and a jpeg of a picture of yourself from the shoulders up and we’ll do the rest. Our goal is to hang these flyers all over the state and generate some curiosity, enthusiasm, and support for changing the mandatory minimum burial depth
Answer at least one of the following questions with a few sentences:
What does green burial mean to me?
I think green burial is important because:
I think all Vermonters should be able to choose whether or not they want a green burial because:
Scan and email this release:
I consent to having my name, location, and statements used along with my likeness to promote awareness about green burial
Email your answer along with a jpeg photo of your from the shoulders up to firstname.lastname@example.org (cellphone photos are fine)