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Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:41 PM

The environmental toll of cremating the dead

Over the past four years, cremations have surpassed burials as the most popular end-of-life option in the United States, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. At the same time, companies have been springing up touting creative things you can do with a loved one’s ashes, such as pressing them into a vinyl record, using them to create a marine reef, or having them compressed into diamonds.

Cremation—along with these creative ways to honor the dead—is often marketed as a more environmentally friendly option than traditional embalmment and casket burial. Concern for the environment, in addition to economic considerations, may be driving some of the increase in popularity.

“[For] some people, I bet that’s part of it,” says Nora Menkin, executive director of the Seattle-based People’s Memorial Association, which helps people choose end-of-life options.

But while it’s true that cremation is less harmful than pumping a body full of formaldehyde and burying it on top of concrete, there are still environmental effects to consider. Cremation requires a lot of fuel, and it results in millions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year—enough that some environmentalists are trying to rethink the process.

The average U.S. cremation, for instance, “takes up about the same amount of energy and has the same emissions as about two tanks of gas in an average car,” Menkin says. “So, it’s not nothing.”

-more-

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/the-environmental-toll-of-cremating-the-dead/ar-AAJSZs8?li=BBnb7Kz

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply The environmental toll of cremating the dead (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Nov 10 OP
TheCowsCameHome Nov 10 #1
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Nov 10 #4
Rorey Nov 10 #8
Midnight Writer Nov 10 #9
StevieM Nov 10 #14
evertonfc Nov 10 #2
California_Republic Nov 10 #3
angstlessk Nov 10 #11
OhNo-Really Nov 10 #5
StevieM Nov 10 #15
Sherman A1 Nov 10 #6
Rorey Nov 10 #7
Kaleva Nov 10 #12
Sherman A1 Nov 10 #13
PoindexterOglethorpe Nov 11 #16
mitch96 Nov 10 #10
hunter Nov 11 #17

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:44 PM

1. It's still the best way to "go".

I'm on the list.

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Response to TheCowsCameHome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:48 PM

4. My state recently legalized "human composting".

That's a far greener way to go.

Overall, the process uses an eighth of the energy required for cremation and saves more than one metric ton of carbon dioxide for every individual who opts to use it.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/washington-first-state-allow-burial-method-human-composting-180972020/

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 03:09 PM

8. Oh, I think I'm going to have to pass on that

The part where the "soil" is returned to the family is where I said, "Nope!" And then also the part about how particular types of compost aren't safe to use on just anything.


This past summer I had the experience of having an unattended death in my rental. I learned a whole lot about the decomposition process during the two months it took me to restore my little house. Cremation for me, and quickly. (Well, I hope they make sure I'm actually dead, of course.)

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Response to Rorey (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 03:32 PM

9. In my State, the law requires embalming even in a cremation. No chance of being burned alive.

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Response to Midnight Writer (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 07:37 PM

14. I had never heard of a state having a law like that.

I guess it is good to know that they won't accidentally cremate me while I am still alive.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:44 PM

2. good grief

I'm beginning to think getting up in the morning takes a toll on the environment. My environmental pass was taken due my vegetarian diet and increase in farting. They cross each other out

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Response to evertonfc (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:46 PM

3. They can compost me

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Response to evertonfc (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 04:48 PM

11. Your farts do not even come close to bovine farts

Of course getting up is going to effect the environment..shower vs bath. That's just a start.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:51 PM

5. Plant a tree in the spot ashes are buried

Perhaps that could offset the CO2

A family grove could be created.

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Response to OhNo-Really (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 07:38 PM

15. My ashes are going to be sprinkled at sea. (eom)

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:51 PM

6. Body donation for me

They can do what they want with my carcass.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:59 PM

7. That's what I told my family to do with my body

If they'll take it, that is.

A lot of years ago I worked in a physical therapy office. In casual conversation I said that I wanted to donate my body to a medical school. One of the therapists thought it was a terrible idea because, as he said, they do disrespectful things. I still don't know why he thought that would bother me.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 05:26 PM

12. After they are done with you, you are cremated.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 05:59 PM

13. Yeah, I know

But there might be a bit less involved at that point.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:07 AM

16. Yep. My mother donated her body to the medical school in her city. After they were done, it was

cremated and the cremains returned to us. It took nine years, but we eventually scattered her ashes where she knew she wanted them scattered.

The down side of human composting is (for me at least) the time it takes. I visited a cemetery with a composting section not too long ago, and while it was peaceful and all that, I still wasn't sure what would be eventually done with the remains. I suppose if you have some kind of plot of land to do the composting on, you can eventually plow under what's left, and plant a crop or raise pigs or whatever.

Personally, I'll stick with cremation.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 03:57 PM

10. Toast me, chemical me, what ever

I just want to go back to my basic elements I came from.
m

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 09:27 AM

17. Decomposing on the seafloor like a whale might work...

Dead Whales Make for an Underwater Feast

When whales decay the seafloor, their enormous carcasses give life to mysterious worlds inhabited by an assortment of bizarre creatures.

https://www.audubon.org/magazine/november-december-2009/dead-whales-make-underwater-feast


Alas, I've probably collected a lot of toxic chemicals in my lifetime.

Heh, maybe we could cremate people using nuclear power.

And there's always the Soylent Green option.

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