The way we traditionally bury the dead is horrible for the environment.
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The modern way of burying a body, the „casket in the ground method“ most of us are used to is horrible for the environment. It uses an incredible amount of resources, emits toxic pollutants into the air, and pumps the ground full of formaldehyde, which is known to cause cancer. It’s also prohibitively expensive. The average cost of a modern funeral costs between $10,000 to $12,000.
There are a number of greener options available though. Cremation uses less resources and requires less space than a traditional burial, but isn’t perfect. There are more experimental methods on the horizon such as promession and alkaline hydrolysis.
No matter which method we choose, it’s clear that we need to reform how we bury the dead.
Also be sure to read Mark Harris’s excellent book about green burials http://www.gravematters.us