Green Death

We are again reminded that one person’s reductio ad absurdum is another’s logical conclusion:

updated 10:49 a.m. EST, Thu December 27, 2007

‘Green funerals’ feature biodegradable coffins

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — Cynthia Beal wants to be an Oregon cherry tree after she dies. She has everything to make it happen — a body, a burial site and a biodegradable coffin.

“It is composting at its best,” said Beal, owner of The Natural Burial Company, which will sell a variety of eco-friendly burial products when it opens in January, including the Ecopod, a kayak-shaped coffin made out of recycled newspapers.

Biodegradable coffins are part of a larger trend toward “natural” burials, which require no formaldehyde embalming, cement vaults, chemical lawn treatments or laminated caskets. Advocates say such burials are less damaging to the environment.

Cremation was long considered more environmentally friendly than burials in graveyards, but its use of fossil fuels has raised concerns. …

Biodegradable containers cost from around $100 for a basic cardboard box up to more than $3,000 for a handcrafted, hand-painted model.

As Monica Hughes pointed out in an e-mail, why “waste” resources by using any sort of container? Wouldn’t it be better to repeal the laws requiring them? I mean, $100 worth of cardboard — do we really want to meet our deaths bearing that kind of guilt? Instead of recycling newspaper — a process that requires (gasp!) energy — shouldn’t we demand that the newspaper not be produced in the first place?

But, assuming that we must be buried in a box, here’s a thought: why doesn’t the national government force car makers to sell the green coffins along with the new fuel-economy death cars?

One thought on “Green Death”

  1. Natural Burial Around the World

    The modern concept of natural burial began in the UK in 1993 and has since spread across the globe. According the Centre for Natural Burial, there are now several hundred natural burial grounds in the United Kingdom and half a dozen sites across the USA, with others planned in Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and even China.

    A natural burial allows you to use your funeral as a conservation tool to create, restore and protect urban green spaces.

    The Centre for Natural Burial provides comprehensive resources supporting the development of natural burial and detailed information about natural burial sites around the world. With the Natural Burial Co-operative newsletter you can stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the rapidly growing trend of natural burial including, announcements of new and proposed natural burial sites, book reviews, interviews, stories and feature articles.

    The Centre for Natural Burial

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