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A Greener Way To Go.  Background  Methodology  Findings  Conclusions and Recommendations Asa Goldman 5/2/2013 2.

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Presentation on theme: "A Greener Way To Go.  Background  Methodology  Findings  Conclusions and Recommendations Asa Goldman 5/2/2013 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Greener Way To Go

2  Background  Methodology  Findings  Conclusions and Recommendations Asa Goldman 5/2/2013 2

3 A Greener Way To Go An Emotional Topic… Asa Goldman 5/2/  Moderator: I imagine that most of you will have been to a cemetery at some point in your life, be it to attend a funeral, visit a gravesite, or some other reason. Thinking back to the last time you were at a cemetery, how did you feel being there?  I am in the last stages of cancer and was wondering how i wanted my funeral etc... (FG, Female, Age 47)

4 A Greener Way To Go A Greener Way to Go What is green burial?  A question I have been asked so many times during this project!  A new alternative to traditional burial that minimizes the impact of human remains on the health of the environment Asa Goldman 5/2/2013 4

5 A Greener Way To Go Previous Research  Much more study has been done in Britain, as there are over 200 natural burial sites, far more than any other Western country.  Literature seems to indicate natural burial is more concerned with the landscape aspect, than the prevention of pollution  So can these findings be applied in Canada? Asa Goldman 5/2/2013 5

6 A Greener Way To Go Purpose  The purpose of this research project is to determine the degree of support for natural burial among the general population and identify key characteristics of potential supporters. Asa Goldman 5/2/2013 6

7 A Greener Way To Go Objectives  Assess awareness of the Natural Burial Association and the availability of natural burial  Establish demographic profile of Ontarians who would consider natural burial as an option for themselves  To develop a profile of respondents with regards to environmental attitudes and behaviours, and preparedness for end of life. Asa Goldman 5/2/2013 7

8 A Greener Way To Go Methodology  Online Survey using Vision Critical Surveys and Discussions  Canada Talk Now online panel from iTracks  Deployed February 25-March 4  Final sample size of 650  Ontario residents, 25 years and older Asa Goldman 5/2/2013 8

9 A Greener Way To Go Methodology  One online focus group of 9 people using iTracks OLFG platform  Held on evening of March 26  70 minute real-time online discussion  Residents of Ontario, 25 years and older, no one from funeral industry Asa Goldman 5/2/2013 9

10 A Greener Way To Go Findings  Awareness Is Low  The Interest Is There  What Is Important?  Costs and Fundraising  Conclusions and Recommendations Asa Goldman 5/2/

11 A Greener Way To Go Awareness Is Low Asa Goldman 5/2/

12 A Greener Way To Go Awareness Is Low Asa Goldman 5/2/ Most information that people are receiving is from incidental sources, where there is little to no control over the quality of the information.

13 A Greener Way To Go The Interest Is There  Despite the low awareness in the population, there seems to be some broad degree of willingness to consider natural burial. Asa Goldman 5/2/

14 A Greener Way To Go The Interest Is There  Because theoretical interest often does not translate into action, participants were further asked to actually indicate how likely they would be to choose natural burial for their own funeral on a scale from 0 to 10. Asa Goldman 5/2/ Fig. 7 How likely are you to choose natural burial as an option? Classified AsPercent (n=650) 0-3Unlikely32% 4-6Uncertain41% 7-10Likely28%

15 A Greener Way To Go A Profile of Supporters Asa Goldman 5/2/ A higher proportion of older participants unlikely to choose natural burial. Younger people may be more open to other options

16 A Greener Way To Go A Profile of Supporters Asa Goldman 5/2/

17 A Greener Way To Go A Profile of Supporters  little connection between the amount of thought given to funeral arrangements and willingness to choose natural burial.  people who had pre-planned their funeral were less likely to consider natural burial.  Individuals who prefer to hike in natural areas were more likely to choose natural burial (44%) than those who prefer more sedentary pastimes, Asa Goldman 5/2/

18 A Greener Way To Go The Environment  A key assumption made in the promotion of natural burial is that those with concern for the environment are more likely to be in favour of natural burial.  Currently, promotional messages are directed towards members of environmental groups, as they are easily identifiable and considered likely supporters Asa Goldman 5/2/

19 A Greener Way To Go The Environment Asa Goldman 5/2/ Environmentalists are getting the message and are more aware of natural burial Yet only 10% of the sample belonged to such a group, and a broader net could be cast

20 A Greener Way To Go The Environment Asa Goldman 5/2/ Many people care for the environment All these measures were scored higher by those interested in natural burial

21 A Greener Way To Go The Environment Asa Goldman 5/2/ The people who buy green are also identifiable – they likely shop at organic and natural foods stores They represent more people than the environmental groups (36% and 24% vs. 10%)

22 A Greener Way To Go What Is Important? Consideration (self) Composite Score Monetary/Financial cost to self and/or family 1291 Convenience: ease/simplicity of making arrangements 1022 Having burial arrangements consistent with my ethical / philosophical views 518 Religious Beliefs/Tradition 464 Environmental impact of remains 337 Burial is in a soothing locale 169 Establishing a memorial 91 Asa Goldman 5/2/ Consideration (others) Composite Score Wishes of the Deceased 1524 Monetary/Financial cost to self and/or estate 812 Convenience: ease/simplicity of making arrangements 628 Religious Beliefs/Tradition 492 Gravesite is in a soothing and/or comforting locale 182 Environmental impact of remains 137 Establishing a memorial 116

23 A Greener Way To Go What Is Important?  Practical concerns such as finances and convenience win out  Environmental impact is a concern more for one’s self than others  Atmosphere and memorials seem to be unimportant… Asa Goldman 5/2/

24 A Greener Way To Go What Is Important?  Focus Group Participants identified atmosphere and memorials as an issue, though not top of mind  Participants suggested and showed interest in developing virtual memorials to replace physical markers Asa Goldman 5/2/ The view of all the tombstones makes you think what kind of lives they all have had. (FG, Male, Age 36) There are other ways to denote who is buried in an area, if one is not tied to the idea of a particular slice of land being delineated. There could be a building with an account open to wide access which could have pictures, videos, songs, of the transitioned one for everyone to see. Families could put up family trees showing exactly where the transitioned one belonged in the lineage. (FG, Female, Age 59)

25 A Greener Way To Go What Is Important?  Some see a spiritual or sacred aspect to a cemetery  This does not necessarily have to be a traditional religious belief  Religious practices can fit with natural burial but may also have barriers Asa Goldman 5/2/ my community might not like it … the graveyard not being seperate for Muslims. (FG, Female, Age 51) The Jewish funeral is much about the body going back to nature as quickly as possible too (FG, Female, Age 71)

26 A Greener Way To Go Costs and Fundraising Asa Goldman 5/2/ Costs are very much a concern Great reluctance to agree to support a cause financially Still many leave the possibility open

27 A Greener Way To Go Costs and Fundraising  There is a perception that Natural Burial ought to cost less, as people seem to define it by what is absent Asa Goldman 5/2/ Okay, I got to say this. I cannot see how this method can be justified as costing anywhere near what a traditional burial would be. (FG, Female, Age 59)

28 A Greener Way To Go Conclusions  Limited Awareness  only about 20% of people have any level of awareness, fewer than 3% have strong familiarity with the concept.  Awareness of the Natural Burial Association is even lower  An Idea With Broad Appeal  nearly half of people looked favourably upon natural burial in theory  somewhere between ¼ and 1/3 of the sample would seriously consider it as an option for themselves.  Older individuals have more hesitancy,  Non-Christians seem more interested Asa Goldman 5/2/

29 A Greener Way To Go Conclusions  Environmentalists Want Natural Burial  Belonging to an environmental organization is definitely related to interest in natural burial, but only accounts for a small part of the population  More people regularly buy organic foods and the relationship is almost as strong.  Even people who enjoy hiking are more likely to favour a natural option in death.  Costs Are An Issue  One of the most important factors in planning a funeral is the cost and related financial considerations  While there is some support for better allocation of money, there may be an impression that natural burial should cost less. Asa Goldman 5/2/

30 A Greener Way To Go Recommendations  An extensive promotional campaign is needed and justifiable  Focus on younger people with environmental habits  Explore options for alternate forms of memorials  Clearly explain the reasons for the costs related to natural burial Asa Goldman 5/2/


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