NYACK, N.Y. -- For Kerry Potter, her new boutique, Dying to Bloom , is personal.
The Suffern resident lost both of her parents in her twenties. At that time, she said she didn’t think twice about having them embalmed and entombed in a cement vault but over the years, as she became educated about the industry, she realized green burials fall more in line with her appreciation for the environment.
"For what seems like an eternity, I've been looking for a way to help advocate and support the trend back to nature and simplicity," she said.
"We’ve learned to make recycling cans, bottles and newspapers part of our everyday life. We should strive to do the same in death."
And so her new Nyack store, which will open Saturday, Feb. 25, is devoted to green burials. The unique shop will feature hand-crafted biodegradable caskets, shrouds, urns and artistic memorial products for people and pets.
The boutique will also serve as a "Memento Mori," a reminder that we all die eventually which Potter hopes inspires people to live life to their fullest and pursue their passions, and of course continue to care about the earth -- even when leaving it.
She said she first heard about green burials through Greensprings Cemetery in Newfield N.Y. "A green burial sounded so beautiful and natural," she said. "The deceased is buried in a biodegradable casket or shroud, there is no chemical embalming. In lieu of a headstone, an indigenous stone may be used or a memorial native plant."
She said she researched and learned about how our burial choices have changed over the years and about the trend back to simplicity with a responsible connection to the earth. She even initiated a "Green Cemetery Fund" through the Rockland Community Foundation to help bring a land conservation green cemetery to the area.
The former WRCR Radio Business Development Director said she wanted to integrate her passion with her job so she started a radio program called "Dying to Bloom" to help people understand the environmental and financial impact of our burial choices as well as consumer rights.
The name seemed apropos for her new business.
"Life is short and this is a passion that energizes my spirit," said the mom of three.
When people walk into Dying to Bloom, they will find a comforting atmosphere, unique biodegradable caskets and urns including a seagrass casket, a pine casket, a handmade greenman casket enclosed in bark and decorate your own cardboard coffins.
Dying to Bloom is located at 48 Burd Street and will be open Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Go to www.Dyingtobloom.com or (845) 535-1567 for more information.