Photo via: Papalars
There are only two things in life that are certain... taxes, and you know, that other thing!
While death is not something that anybody wants to talk about, they certainly should. The process of what to do with your remains is a very important question. Society has a set list of procedures for the moment our time on this planet comes to an end, and most of them are not very green...For some there will be the decision on whether or not they want an autopsy to find the cause of death. Was it a heart attack or Grandma's leftover fruitcake? I don't know, but unless there was some really suspicious foul play involved, does it really matter?
If you do not wish your remains to be searched for clues of your death, you need to make sure that is known to your immediate family. Autopsies use energy and may or may not be of benefit to science. Are you an organ donor? What are your thoughts on whose decision it should be whether or not to pull your plug?
Pulling the 'Green' Plug
Deciding on the life or death of a loved one is a situation that none of us ever wants to be in, but many of us will someday. Keeping a body alive that can no longer sustain itself is nether green nor humane, but when do you say enough is enough?
You hear stories of those who were cast out as goners, only to be revived by the love and determination of a loved one who would not give up. Do you have a plan set in place for such a scenario? Well, you should...
Your Last Act Can Give Back
Next you have the choice of the memorial service and burial. Part of the ritual of saying goodbye is bringing closure to those left behind. To accomplish this, it is common practice to embalm our loved ones, entomb them in metal lined casket, and drop them into the concrete enforced walls of yet another tomb. This is the virtual equivalent of a landfill. Nothing gets in and nothing gets out... you just remain there a gooey carcass for a very long time.
Did you know there was such a thing as natural burials, biodegradeable embalming fluids and caskets (made of cloth, cardboard, or pine). These types of burials not only use less energy, less resources, and preserve the land, they also cost much less and allow the body to return to the earth the way it was meant to.
There are other interesting options available today, such as being freeze-dryed and turned to compost, being buried underneath a young tree, or even becoming a part of a coral reef system. These are just a few of the creative ways people have thought to help bring closure to a loved ones death, while also allowing their remains to bring new life.
So, how do you plan to ease your burden on the planet when you die?
More on coping with death
Pain and Fear of Death
A Widower Recounts the Loss of His Wife From Leukemia
Top 10 Lessons on How Not to Die
The Business of Death: Can It Be Green?
How to Go Green: Funerals
The Green Goodbye