Most of us will choose to be buried when we die. Cremation is increasing in popularity and you’ll even hear of the odd Viking pyre ceremony here and there. With burial comes embalming – you know with all those great chemicals they use in fracking (but that’s another story). And the cremation of one person puts 573 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So if you are green in life, how the heck can you go green in death? Here are a couple of answers: When you kick, you can be frozen with liquid nitrogen in a process called “promession“…yup – you can get freeze-dried like jerky. And getting composted is becoming all the rage in the green funeral game. Compost yourself? Daaammnn – now that’s what I call going hard for the green cause.
It is hard enough to get folks to change simple habits and just recycle or be mindful about energy consumption, it’s going to be an uphill battle to convince many of us to change our ideas about how to dispose of our bodies when we die. Yeah – I said “dispose of”. The concept (and actuality) of death is fraught with emotion and mystery but the truth is, our dead bodies are forever useless – kind of like trash. I know that intellectually, but ask Diva Ø to think about a non-traditional funeral and she’ll say “ain’t nobody got time for that!” Organ donation is a difficult enough proposition – even if they have changed their minds for the better, “I’m going out with everything I came with!” is a familiar refrain for many.
Now we’re not just talking organs, we’re talking about the whole body. We’re talking about letting go of hundreds of years of tradition – possibly going against religious beliefs and customs. We’re talking about building a new framework for what we consider respect for the end of life and a new framework for the process of grief and mourning for those left behind.
For once Diva doesn’t have the answers – I’m just asking: If you’ve gone green in life – are you willing to die how you lived?