My friend Crystal sent me an article about Green Funerals. The effect mainstream funeral practises have on the earth is something I had thought a little about but never really researched.
I knew the embalming chemicals were bad news, not to mention the space bodies take up in the earth, so I wondered about cremation and if that was any better. According to the article on the Soko, not really.
“Every time a body is cremated between 0.8 and 5.9 grams of mercury is released. This results in 1,000 to 7,800 pounds of mercury per year. Seventy-five per cent goes into the air and the rest ends up in the ground and water. The energy used to cremate one body is enough to drive 4,800 miles. In a year of cremations, you could get to the moon and back 83 times.”
Wow, I’d much rather go to the moon and back 83 times. That would be much more fun! Pesticides are almost always used in cemeteries too-only organic pesticide free flowers for me please.
So what do we do instead? Ask our families to illegally set us up in a tree in a mountain somewhere or cremate us like Sam McGee and then scatter our ashes to the wind. I actually like that idea but apparently there are legal ways of going about it.
There are Green Burial sites, and there is no law saying bodies have to be embalmed. So let’s all go back to our Victorian days for a moment and think less about sex and more about death. Although they were all about embalming and putting bodies on more than one coffin so they would be preserved forever.
So just in case I die before you, I want a green funeral, and I want people to have fun at it (damn it). If there is food, please use real dishes and environmentally friendly dish soap to wash them. I’ll do double dish duty when I’m alive to make up for it. No Styrofoam puleeeeaaaase. Instead of a grave stone, plant a tree for me, and don’t forget to give it hug!