Monday, April 16, 2007

May all your endings be green

This month's edition of Angie's List is The Green Living issue. Angie's List is a source for user-generated reviews of a wide variety of consumer services. Kind of like Consumer Reports but not for goods, rather for finding a reliable roofer, mechanic, dog-walker and so on. You can take a tour here. I've been subscribing to it for as long as I've been a home-owner (8 years).

There aren't enough reports from the Akron area yet. Lots and lots for Cleveland. So I find that I mostly am writing in reports rather than finding good service via Angie's List. I have found a few places via Angie's, and have been happy every time I used a recommended service.

Another benefit of Angie's List is the monthly magazine that is available for subscribers online and in a print edition. It always has useful and well-written articles generally based on a theme per issue.

In this latest Green issue, an article by Eileen Finan gives us the details on how to arrange a green funeral. The American Way of Death continues to be excessive and quite inconveniently, toxic to our planet. Finan writes of "A new burial movement, already well-established in England where it began in the early 90s, seeks a return to a simpler, environmentally friendlier Earthly exodus, advocating shrouds or coffins of local wood on land that retains its natural features. According to the author, most modern cemeteries have more in common with toxic landfills than with peaceful idyllic plots of groves and grass strewn with marble. She quotes one fellow who has a $500 plot in a natural burial cemetery, "I'm going in the ground to rot. Why not make it as fast as possible?"

What might a green funeral look like? From the British company Natural Endings:
"Woodland burial is increasingly becoming the environmentally friendly choice and the obvious choice for a green funeral. Having a woodland burial helps to create a protected piece of woodland for future generations. The general principal is that a biodegradable coffin (cardboard, bamboo, seagrass, willow or sustainable wood) or shroud is used. At most woodland burial grounds a native tree is planted on (or close to) the grave. Often a flat memorial engraved stone or wooden plaque is used to identify the grave. The site is managed to encourage native wildlife, plants and wild flowers. Some grounds are privately owned or owned by nature charities. Others are areas in county council cemeteries."
As one who cringes at the typical American funeral display of embalmed body in lavish display case made of a wide variety of synthetic materials, I applaud this new back to the worms movement. I'd always thought I'd go for cremation. Turning into ashes appeals because it is less messy and much faster. Now I'm wondering how much CO2 that process contributes to the atmosphere.

1 comment:

microdot said...

My wife and I joke a lot about our fantasy funerals...what we might like to have written into our requests...and I think she is beginning to take me seriously when I say I'd like to be cremated and have my ashes put into an urn that is a lawn dwarf...I will be able to annoy generations to come!