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Eco death don’t read if you’re depressed 😊

(37 Posts)
BlueBelle Wed 19-Feb-20 06:44:27

My family have always been buried and I was just following on without giving it too much thought However I recently was thinking perhaps cremation is the way to go but then the eco problem came into my head, realising that crematoriums have a big and growing carbon footprint
Have you had thoughts about this or are you just following family tradition

Riverwalk Wed 19-Feb-20 07:14:39

I heard something on the radio just the other day - think it was from the US - composting human remains. I think it was university research rather than some wacky company, along the lines of corpse in cardboard box, composting material of some sort put on top and after a few weeks, the body is compost. That sounds very eco-friendly.

janeainsworth Wed 19-Feb-20 07:34:30

Bones wouldn’t compost in a few weeks would they Riverwalk?
Not without the use of strong acids. (Though you can dissolve teeth in coca-cola)

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 19-Feb-20 07:42:17

I read about this apparently bones do compost, the temperatures are very high they use a kind of pod.
I need to have another look as I imagine they must use a lot of energy to get the heat for 6 weeks or so.

Riverwalk Wed 19-Feb-20 07:49:03

To be honest it's bad enough having eco worries when alive never mind worrying about my dead body!

eebeew Wed 19-Feb-20 07:52:44

We are going to opt for a natural burial. The council here has provided land next to the traditional cemetery. You are buried in a natural untreated coffin in the upper layers of soil and a tree is planted over your burial site. I like the idea of returning to the earth more naturally and of contributing to the land.

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 19-Feb-20 07:53:03

True riverwalk but our families or whoever is having to organise our funerals might want to be steered in a particular direction.
DD 1 has already told us in writing what she wants to happen after her death, but it doesn’t make easy reading when she is so young.

Grammaretto Wed 19-Feb-20 07:57:10

Riverwalk grin
There are a couple of green burial grounds near us. Very low key. No stones. Wicker or card coffin. Occasional planting of trees.
DH wants a mention on the family stone but I suppose that could happen without a coffin.
I learned from a Canadian that, in winter, they have to protect the bodies from wild animals and wait till the ground is soft enough to dig.
It'll be fire for me.

Baggs Wed 19-Feb-20 08:00:00

We had a bone composting system in the garden for some years, for chicken carcasses and lamb joint bones, etc. It worked well. You put all kinds of other food waste in it as well like vegetable peelings and so on.

When I eventually dig it out (the composting happened underground; check out Green Cone composting), I found only a few tiny scraps of bone which, considering what we'd out into it over the years, was amazing.

I like the idea of composting burials. You can't do better, environmentally, than recycling your star dust so efficiently.

Eglantine21 Wed 19-Feb-20 08:00:15

When I was in Tibet I was, initially, absolutely horrified by the way in which they disposed of bodies.

They chop them up into pieces and then either place the bits in the open air for birds and animals or in the rivers for fish to eat. When the bones are picked clean they are ground and scattered.

However, not only is it the ultimate eco friendly disposal, it chimes with their religious beliefs of life continuing in another life.

It always seems a bit adrift that religions that believe in the continuance of the individual soul attach such importance to the dead body.

Baggs Wed 19-Feb-20 08:04:14

The Tibetan method was used in India too until pesticides started affecting vulture numbers. I wonder if they've managed to sort that out yet. I've told my offspring they can feed me to vultures if they want. I don't care what they do with my carcass, not a jot.

PS We had some kind of compost activator to sprinkle into the Green Cone composter I mentioned above. Nothing toxic.

BlueSky Wed 19-Feb-20 08:14:52

I decided long ago for the Green Natural Burial Ground in a eco friendly basket. The best alternative for me to traditional cemeteries or cremation.

Riverwalk Wed 19-Feb-20 08:27:52

Oopsadaisy I have made my wishes known in my will and to my family - I was referring to the burden of having eco-worries about my dead body!

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 19-Feb-20 11:47:59

riverwalk it’s good that your family know how your wishes, but for those who want to be eco friendly they do worry about it now, I’m sure there will be many who will want to find out more about this seemingly eco friendly way.

However, I’m with you on this one, my family know what I want to happen and hopefully it won’t be composting.

Although if DD1 had her way it would be.

I’ll be happy just as long as I’m dead.!

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 19-Feb-20 11:48:41

Sorry an extra ‘how’ plonked down in there somehow.

SueDonim Wed 19-Feb-20 11:49:56

Composting seems the newest way.

I rather like the idea of being put back into the earth. Or maybe I’d state that each of my children had to have some of my compost and grow an aspidistra in me. grin

I think woodland burials sound good but have been put off after a friend chose that. Her body was buried in an upright position and that just seems weird to me. I know you wouldn’t know but it doesn’t seem very....restful.

Davida1968 Wed 19-Feb-20 11:51:04

I'm with eebeew. DH & I want to buy plots for green burials, and are researching this.

Calendargirl Wed 19-Feb-20 12:04:17

Cremation for me. Burials take up space, and I don’t like the thought of bodies lying in saturated graves. And eventually unloved graves that no one visits or thinks about. Perhaps green sites are better for that, I don’t really know.

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 19-Feb-20 13:59:46

Buried upright! No it sounds all wrong

I do worry about it with all of the flooding, what is happening in all of these graveyards?

bingo12 Wed 19-Feb-20 14:18:00

I learnt recently that the people in Tibet consider water, soil and air to be pure and therefore not to be polluted by dead bodies.

BlueBelle Wed 19-Feb-20 15:46:28

I m pretty sure when I was in the Far East people were buried upright
I do know there was a outdoor pyre nearby and I won’t go into details but the burning process wasn’t pleasant even though we didn’t see anything

curvygran950 Wed 19-Feb-20 16:01:49

What about leaving one’s body to science? Some of the med schools still use cadavers as well as computer imagery for anatomy etc . Is that considered eco friendly ? I don’t know what happens to cadavers after they’re finished with, but I expect they’re cremated rather than composted.

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 19-Feb-20 16:08:23

Did you see a programme on TV a year or so ago ? I think it was called ‘a body farm’ in the USA , they left the cadavers outside or covered with various materials and let them get infested with bugs. It was for training purposes for forensics. Helped them to be able to tell how long a person had been dead for etc. The bodies had been left to medical science.
I’m not sure what happened after they had finished with them though.

merlotgran Wed 19-Feb-20 16:20:28

DD is buried in a woodland cemetery. She had a wicker casket which we covered with a natural looking spray. You have to remove them straight after committal or pay for it to be done a week later. We took it to the wake where I dismantled it and made individual posies for mourners to take away.

We have bought a tree for the wooded area just above her grave. Stone plaques are not placed until the area has settled and after wildflower meadow management has been carried out.

I'm not sure it's what I want for me though. I would far prefer to be cremated and have my ashes scattered there. Although there is no tending for families to do, I feel guilty that because it's 45 mins away I don't visit frequently and as we are now the only members of her family living in the area it's a 'responsibility.'

I know I'm being silly because the whole idea of a natural burial is you let nature take its course.

BlueBelle Wed 19-Feb-20 16:20:50

My friend has left her body to science They collect the body then if they decide not to use it (I guess too old or too many bodies at that moment or maybe not right for whatever they are investigating at that time) the family then have the choice to have the body back or to have it disposed of by the science people (by what method it doesn’t say) my friend has opted for it being got rid of by them She has told her three sons (none live near her) and they are all happy with leaving her with the science service to dispose of, no ceremony or anything to arrange She doesn’t have any church beliefs