16 September, 2006

Eco-burials

Have you ever stopped to consider what happens to us after we die? I’m not talking about spiritually, but physically. Would you be surprised to know that preparation of a body for burial (including embalming and placing the body in a decay-resistant coffin) can often be highly toxic to the living? I came across this article today and found it fascinating reading. I had always said that when I died I wanted to be cremated, my reasoning being that burning me would take up less space than burying me. But even that seems to be somewhat harmful (though that’s still what I want). But now there are eco-burials at certain places (in Britain and Tasmania, but catching on around the rest of Australia, and the world). I think that how we are “disposed of” is something we should all think about while we can do it objectively - not left for when we’re an emotional wreck trying to do what is best for a loved one who has just passed on. So, read the article - it’s not long. And then maybe consider talking about what you want to those who need to know. And tell them that you’d like to donate your organs to someone who could actually use them because Australia's reputation for organ donation is shamefully bad. Not that I'm telling readers what to do or anything.....

Updated because Val raised some good points:

  • Embalming is only required in certain circumstances (repatriation interstate, if burial is to be delayed, in the case of infectious diseases, etc.) and most funeral homes (should) ask if the family wants embalming to take place.
  • Enviroboard coffins by Lifeart are cardboard coffins that meet industry standards and should be accepted everywhere. They're strong enough to be treated like regular coffins are, but decompose quickly.
  • And as far as I can tell (yes, I checked) there are no council by-laws (that showed up in Google) that restrict the possibility of an eco-burial.

And I agree with Lee - maybe I'll just go for the world's longest scuba dive after I'm gone.

5 Comments:

Blogger Lee said...

I'm just going to throw myself in the fish pond and let them take care of me! ;)

11:58 am  
Blogger Alice said...

Very interesting article. I never realised that I could do so much damage after I die - even more than I've done whilst alive .... lol.

Well worth considering.

1:50 pm  
Blogger PEA said...

That was such an interesting article...I never even thought of what embalming and such can do to the eco system! Thank you for opening our eyes to this!!

2:11 pm  
Blogger Val said...

Lee, what kind of fish would that be??!

Very interesting, Tanya. I wonder how much choice we've got though, if you have a particular "spot" picked out. Hopefully by the time our family has to deal with this, there will be a more environmentally friendly approach to this.

4:17 pm  
Blogger Lee said...

Well, at the moment there are no pirahna in there Val...but I'm considering getting some! ;)

4:46 pm  

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