Second Earth Day post! (can I do that?)


I recently read this article about how green funerals are becoming more popular and it reminded of a few years ago when I broke my ankle and one of the books I read during my convalescence was Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (which I HIGHLY recommend as a fascinating and entertaining read, as long as you are not squeamish about cadavers and decomposition and stuff like that).

In her book, she wrote about a type of cremation in which the body is, essentially, freeze-dried and then shattered into dust, which is in turn then interred in a cardboard box. The cardboard box disintegrates and, instead of the body having to go through the whole long, tedious process of disintegrating and decomposing over a matter of, well, lots of years (how long does it take, bones and all? hmm, Wikipedia failed to give me any concrete length of time on that one), the body is already tidily broken down into useful elements. The VERY BEST PART is that these elements are SO useful and nutritional (can I say that in this context?), you can plant a tree or a shrub or whatever you want in the place of interment, which essentially means, if I remember my science stuff correctly and the whole balance of matter thing, that your remains will be part of a TREE or A SHRUB or WHATEVER-IT-WAS!

Isn’t that cool?  I so want to do that. It is awesome!  I want to be a birch tree. Or maybe a rhodedendron bush. (Troy already knows this, by the way) And there was some reason she said that this was better than cremation ecologically but I can’t remember what that was so you better just go read the book yourself.

And that is my SECOND Earth Day post.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Apr 24, 2008 @ 14:49:19

    Hey–my cousin’s spouse found these on-line, felt they were too expensive to ship, but then at her local store. Potentially useful during times when EC is not practical?

    Her blog entry about them:


  2. ~m
    Apr 24, 2008 @ 18:20:46

    Thanks for the reminder! I had forgotten all about seeing those. Definitely would be good for situations like traveling 😀


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