Just in time for Halloween and the Day of the Dead, I'm hosting a green burial/death carnival as part of the Green Mom's Carnival. Unfortunately, death is something we talk about a little too frequently in this household and the discussion of, how shall we say, "disposal", has come up a number of times.
Even though my husband's cancer numbers have been going down, we still talk about the inevitable and our conversation about a green burial, which I wrote about a few years ago in the post, What to do when you're dead, usually revolves around groundwater contamination. I wonder, given all the drugs my husband takes, if a green burial for him would end up being a super-fund site. I know it sounds morbid, but if we are going to plan for things, this kind of stuff comes up.
In order to get others to think about it too, the Green Moms Carnival has posted blogs about the various aspects of keeping it green all the way to the very end.
Anna at Green Talk covers sustainable caskets. In her post, she interviews the creator of a casket that is made out of long fiber recycled paper and water. No toxins, glues, formaldehydes or anything. So, if you have to have a casket (and most places do require one, even for cremation), this is one sustainable way of achieving that.
Tiffany from Nature Moms thinks about what she wants done with her own remains and discusses what is not so green about funerals, burials, and cremation and goes over some greener choices.
Harriet from Climatemama brings up the question of how can we sustain burials if there are no trees for coffins? Between climate change, fires, invasive species and other pests, much of our nation's forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate.
Beth from Fake Plastic Fish likens green burials to composting your body. In her post, she contemplates her own demise and gives a well thought out description of what she wants done when she joins that giant plastic patch in the sky. I get dibs on her brain!
Jennifer from Puddle Jumping in DC goes into grave detail about the ins and outs of donating your body to science. She also contemplates donating her husband to the Bodies Exhibit, although the plastination process doesn't sound very green.
Karen at Best of Mother Earth emphasis pre-planning. You don't want to wait until the last minute of life to figure out the details of a green death. And Karen has her last wishes pre-planned out to the very smallest, if not illegal, details. Which may just involve a truck and a shovel. Let's hope that her kids wait until she's dead first. Just sayin'.
Diane of Big Green Purse puts the cart before the horse and asks to be buried before she dies. Not literally, but she wants to have her wake while she is still alive, so she can enjoy it with the ones she loves.
Lynn at Organic Mania goes old school when it comes to death and burial and describes how her ancestors in Bermuda handled the problem of burials in a country made up of limestone and coral. It gives the term "stacking" a whole new twist.
Karen mentions in her post (and, really, how this carnival came about) how standard funerals and burials are really a money making racket. Our local funeral home even offers a hybrid green cremation that costs $5400 (plus sales tax!?) for a willow casket, a biodegradable urn and a service. That's one expensive bonfire.
Finally, I love the concept of the Day of the Dead where you celebrate those loved ones who have passed on, honoring them with their favorite foods, gifts and more. Putting up pictures and having a party every year helps keep them close.
Do you have plans for a green demise or is this something you have even thought about for yourself or your family?
Image courtesy of White Eagle.