Beth Terry’s Fake Plastic Fish used the spur of Halloween to write a “creepier” post (“Green Burial: Like Composting Food Waste, and Your Body is the Food“) about the subject of green burials. While it wouldn’t necessarily have to come now, it makes some good points, from the non-decaying, labor intensive casket, to the greenest of all: a shroud for the body in a green/organic cemetary. She takes cremation to task as well:
Massive amounts of energy used, toxic emissions from mercury and other substances released in the burning process, and simply, the waste of organic material that could have been returned to the earth as nutrients.
As one who has suffered the loss of a loved one recently, I can say that sustainability is not always on the forefront of grievers’ minds, nor should it be. But Terry writes in a macabre sort-of “future planning” way, saying
…whether I’m buried in a casket or a shroud, I want everything removed from my body (jewelry, outerwear, dentalware, etc) that is not also biodegradable. The earth doesn’t need those things and neither will I. I promise.
In conjunction with all this is an interesting company out of the U.K. called Ecopod, who promises a coffin “[m]ade by hand from recycled newspapers and hand finished with paper made from 100% mulberry pulp.” While the subject is touchy for some, I’m glad this part of life can be kept in harmony with nature as well.