Friday, April 29, 2005

Bury me feet first, please

Did you catch the article today on the new cemetery in Australia? They are burying people in biodegradable body bags, and then putting them into the ground vertically.

I'm sure some of you are thinking, "Ewwwwwww!" That's a typical response from Americans. We do things a certain way, and tend to think it's the ONLY way ... and, of course, the BEST way!

Alrighty then, let's look at how we Americans do it. Each year, in burying the dead, we put into our earth:

827,060 gallons of embalming fluid
90,272 tons of steel
2,700 tons of copper and bronze
1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete
14,000 tons of steel

Even cremation sends out billows of toxins and gases into the air.

The best way? Nah, I don't think so either.

There are some green cemeteries sprouting up around the US (those that are environmentally friendly). Some are putting them on grazing land so that the circle of life continues to give back to all of us that are still around. It's such a great idea. It means that burials need to happen more quickly.

My husband and I have already decided to have a small family burial, with a public memorial service later. Hopefully, by the time we expire, we'll have one of these great places readily available to us. I used to spend hours planning my headstone, wanting it to be memorable and interesting to those walking past it for years to come. Pretty selfish. Now, I'm thinking how great it will be to actually HAVE an earth for people to walk around on for years to come.

My dad used to always say, "Just find where they're digging for a new telephone pole, and drop me in first!" Well, Dad, you just may get your wish!

1 comment:

Vegan Momma said...

It has been my desire, when my time arrives, to be buried that way. It's not like I am going to care what I am in after I am gone. :-)It is a lot better for the environment.