Friday, February 12, 2010

Bury me wild

Are you familiar with natural burial, sometimes also called forest burial? It’s a movement out of Europe, an environmentally sustainable alternative to both traditional casket burial and cremation. Earthy and green, it doesn’t introduce toxins to the environment or use fossil fuels. In natural burial, you’re planted unpreserved in a woodlands setting. You decompose and feed the beetles. You’re recycled, earth to earth, atom to atom. The fetishistic rigmarole of embalming and elaborately lined caskets, so vanity of vanities, is so over -- not that I don’t enjoy wandering through Victorian fantasies of immortality. But I’d rather have a rich forest.

Many US states, however, have been captured by the funeral industry – which, for all the supposed mom & pop storefronts, is actually pretty monopolistic – utterly controlling your body’s final journey. Yet another battle...


amarilla said...

Thanks for this. Sweetening the soil is sacred work even Homo Sapiens can participate in.

Bluebird of Friendliness said...

I have heard of this before...I can think of nothing nicer than my bits becoming part of the birds and the trees. Like what happens to daemons when their people die in His Dark Materials.

Marina said...

I'm so tired of the whole weird industry. Makeup and air-tight coffins? Bring back wakes, processions and dirges. And decomposition! And I want to hear some wailing once in a while. It's death. It should be morbid, earthy and kinda messy.

Esmerelda said...

This is what is most commonly called Green Burial.
As someone who has been working in a Green cemetery and making burial shrouds for the past 5 years
I can tell you it has little to do with State law and everything to do with cemetery laws controlled for many years by just 3 corporations the largest being SCI (Service Corporation International). This company bought up every little Mom & Pop in the country just about and put the industry on a joyride of making enormous profits capitalizing on the love and guilt of those "left behind".
I'm happy to say that has now changed.People didn't like the impersonal nature of the funeral homes and SCI gave up alot of facilities in recent years. Green burial began in the US in the late 1990's with Dr. Billy Campbell and others buying land for preservation and restoration by getting deed restrictions and marrying land preservation with cemetery endowment care so people could be buried in a meadow without a headstone and the meadow would remain a meadow- FOREVER.
My company:
started in 2004 working in California's 1st green cemetery FERNWOOD where people wanted to be buried in old quilts which looked poorly and were hard to lower.
Our shroud has an attached lowering device, is easy to wrap and beautiful. It debuted on the HBO show "Six Feet Under" in 2005 in the Green Burial episode and we now sell over the internet and in funeral homes in over over 26 States around the country.
The funeral industry was terrified of "green burial" for years and it was driven by the public. Now the funeral tradeshows have "How to go Green" Seminar's put on by the big corporations. Kinda reminds me of "O" organics in Safeway supermarkets 40 years after the people started that one..........
Food and Death are very political in the US when composting becomes involved.