Friday, May 04, 2007

Not Satisfied With Just Pushing Daisies?

Dang it, I'm SO doing this.

Huh...later though...

Advocates urge Canadians to be green in death

Updated Mon. Apr. 30 2007 7:49 AM ET

Canadian Press

...When pondering the spectre of death, generally the environmental impact of one's burial is not top of mind. But several companies and groups in Canada are banking on the hope that it soon will be.

Few people realize the harm traditional burials, and even cremations, do to the environment, says Caley Ferguson, vice-president of Northern Casket.

Ferguson displayed his company's nature-friendly "Enviro-Casket" line at the Green Living Show in Toronto over the weekend.

He says, "It's sort of one last way to thank Mother Nature."

Traditional caskets use metal hinges and fastenings, several layers of varnish and lacquer, and fancy fabrics for the interior - all of which are left in the earth to seep into groundwater once the body and wood decompose.

And with cremation, those materials - right down to the mercury in dental fillings - are burned up into the atmosphere. The process of cremation itself is not very energy-efficient, with mass amounts of fuel needed to burn a body at high temperatures for a considerable length of time.

Enviro-Caskets use wooden hinges and braces, undyed and unbleached cotton fabric and are finished with either natural walnut oil or beeswax. All the products used will completely degrade in 30 to 60 years.


The neighbouring booth at the consumer show takes it one step further. A natural casket is all well and good, but who really needs a casket anyway? Or a cemetery for that matter?

"Instead of (using) an embalming fluid and being put in big caskets, what we're hoping to do is for people to have a choice to be wrapped in a biodegradable shroud or put in a pine box and into the ground, and to create a park as opposed to the cemeteries," says Janet McCausland, executive director of the Natural Burial Association.

According to the association, there are more than 200 natural burial sites in the United Kingdom and five in the United States, and it hopes to bring the concept to Canada.


Bodies buried in the ground must be marked, so instead of tombstones, such sites would be marked with a tree or stones embedded flat in the ground.

Here it is:

Doesn't look all that different. But then, at that point, vanity shouldn't be a real concern...

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