Rest in Peace

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!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Rest in Peace

  1. “The difference between sex and death is that with death you can do it alone and no one is going to make fun of you. ” – Woody Allen

    ps- Please harvest my organs and then toss me in the Atlantic.

  2. LOL. Thanks Ryan. It’s funny you say that because I am always telling people at the museum how Victorian society was opposite to ours. They were obsessed with death but so afraid of sex that women were dying in childbirth because info wasn’t being passed on (also because doctors didn’t wash their hands and most of the midwives were killed off in the witch hunts a few hundred years prior). These days we know all about the sex lives of our politicians yet people are dying without even a will because we dislike thinking about death so much. Funny Funny.

  3. caro

    You could always donate your body to science. They will fill you full of chemicals, yeah, but at least some good will come out of it. Future doctors! It’s also probably the cheapest way to go.

  4. Joanna

    There are many alternatives to traditional burials, several of which are highlighted in this documentary I just watched: Lasting Images… http://bside.com/films/lastingimages/
    It is something I never thought of before, just as you nomoregarbage, but it is important to discuss and decide for later on in life.
    As of now I would prefer a firework ceremony, although it can be argued that it is dangerous to the environment. (Although most things seem to be harmful to one thing or another, one way or another.)

    I have always leaned toward the various cremation options, even though it has been proven to have ill environmental effects. For some reason I just wouldn’t want my whole body left defenseless, unless donated to science as caro suggested.

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