Saturday, February 27, 2010

Going Out Green...

A few weeks ago I heard a knock on the back door. It is rare that we get visitors this far out in the sticks so I answered with wonder. There stood your typical looking Southern Baptist preacher type. Being the friendly host I am, I smiled and said "hello".

He said that he worked for the local funeral home, selling burial insurance. Before I knew what was coming out of my mouth (because honestly, I'm mostly full of shit) I said "Oh, we are going to compost my body, but thank you anyway". The worst part was that, completely involuntarily, as I was saying this I was motioning to the compost pile just a few feet away from him! I swear, I didn't mean to point at it as I was telling him hand just kind of raised up, all on its own, and motioned that way. But the look on his face after I did was completely priceless! He uttered "Oh my!" and then just stood in dumbfounded silence for a few moments.

Well then, of course the next logical question out of his mouth was "Honey, do you go to church anywhere". Now you've got to get a mental image of this man in order to make this story worthwhile. What you have got to focus on are his eyebrows. The more I talked, the higher up on his face his eyebrows went. The wider his eyes got. It was priceless really.

So I answered, "No sir, we are a Pagan family...we haven't found a church for us in this area so we worship at home". So the eyebrows shit up a little more and he uttered another "Ohhhh my".

I should have, at this point, invited him into my home...just for pure meanness, to see if he dared to enter my lair (bwwwhahaha). But no, I just stood, with a fixed smile on my face, as he invited me to his church. I then bid him a good day and shut the door as he left.

That did get me to thinking though...are there "green" ways to handle ones body after death?

So evidently, you can actually compost your body! That is if you can get through all of the red tape first. What to do, what to do...I have so many causes that I could take up in order to cause a stir in this small town of mine. Do I do the gay cause? The Pagan cause? Women's rights? Or should I campaign for the right to compost my body?

There are also a few companies who make "green" coffins. Read about them here and here.

There is a company by the name of Promessa who offers to essentially freeze-dry the body, eventually turning it to powder (at 1/3 its original weight) for storage or burial in a small urn.

Then the good folks at the Green Burial Council want to make green burials the standard, doing away with embalming, vaults, conventional markers, and metal caskets.

Green Endings will even organize an eco-funeral in your own backyard. Which would be groovy.

There are also places, easily found by a Google search, where you can be made into a diamond, launched into space or sank to the bottom of the Ocean (although I don't think those are necessarily "green").

No comments: