Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Greening the Dead Carnival

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.

15 comments:

Beth Terry @ Fake Plastic Fish said...

Deanna, we could just switch brains for a few days or a week and just try them out. I'd like to do that with my husband's body too.

Yes, another day, another weird mood. Thanks for posting the carnival.

Crunchy Chicken said...

I'm not sure I could handle seeing everything in Kodachrome, but it's worth a shot. Although it would take a bit for it to get used to the higher altitude.

Beth Terry @ Fake Plastic Fish said...

Mine's not even used to the altitude. That's why I avoid numbers with too many zeroes.

Harriet said...

Deanna, thanks for pursuing the Greening the Dead Carnival idea! So much great info and not a "place" people normally go. Love having all the "how to" stuff in one place, will definitely bookmark it so I know it's handy....

Olivia said...

I think things are a little looser in my country . . . but then, we have a huge country and a small population.

An elderly friend died and most of his cremated remains were simply buried in the small church cemetery (urns only - no room for anything larger. I don't think we have the "double-bind" clause in Canada). Anyway - the crematorium put 2 small (about a tsp. or so) bundles of ashes into little velvet bags - one was given to his son to be scattered out in the wilderness where they used to go canoeing and one was given to me to be scattered in a potato field - he LOVED potatoes. Was even cremated with a potato!

Amy said...

I buried my daughter on my property. I love having her here. I think the thought of having done anything else with her body is just too strange. Anybody want any advice or to talk about home burial or green burial for that matter you are welcome to contact me.

Wendy said...

I think I'd like to have a sky burial like the Tibetans do. Just cut up the body and let the vultures have at it. ;)

panamamama said...

Great post about things we don't usually want to think about!

gpc said...

I think about this a lot from time to time. Although people don't like to talk about it, it is the last choice we get to make. I heard that they are opening a green cemetary in Michigan, no caskets, no markers, and I am working up the mood to ask my kids if that would freak them out. I think it would be comforting to think of a loved one becoming part of the earth.

Anna (Green Talk) said...

Deanna, thanks for hosting this discussion. I would like to have both yours and Beth's brains! I happen to love your wicked humor.

I have to agree with Harriet, this post is something people don't want to think about but our love of the Earth shouldn't stop at death.

Anna (Green Talk) said...

@Amy, so sorry about your loss. How wonderful to buried her on your land.

Lynn from OrganicMania.com said...

Deanna, thanks so much for hosting. I loved the idea - fun to do something different besides the usual Halloween posts!

But that comment above about Tibetan funerals and vultures...ugh, I thought I had heard everything. Guess it's a good thing I'm not Tibetan!

Linda A said...

Deanna, Thanks for hostessing the carnival this month. It is something we should all think about more since we all are definitely going to die.

studiojmm said...

Deanna,

It's definitely up to my husband what he does with his body. (Unless he doesn't decide, and then it's up to his family.) I was merely commenting that donating himself to an exhibit he liked very much is an option.

You're right that while preserving his remains in silicone is not in itself particularly green, the overall benefit to humanity from an educational perspective may redeem it.

I think that's probably true of donating to science generally. Though probably greener than a traditional casket burial, it's probably not the greenist choice by pure environmental measures - there's transportation involved, chemicals depending on use, and ultimately cremation of the remains - but it's benefits are still great.

Anyway, good carnival. Nice timing.

studiojmm said...

Deanna,

It's definitely up to my husband what he does with his body. (Unless he doesn't decide, and then it's up to his family.) I was merely commenting that donating himself to an exhibit he liked very much is an option.

You're right that while preserving his remains in silicone is not in itself particularly green, the overall benefit to humanity from an educational perspective may redeem it.

I think that's probably true of donating to science generally. Though probably greener than a traditional casket burial, it's probably not the greenist choice by pure environmental measures - there's transportation involved, chemicals depending on use, and ultimately cremation of the remains - but it's benefits are still great.

Anyway, good carnival. Nice timing.

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