Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

Meaning: We come from dust; we return to dust.

Except we don’t really, do we? Sure, people who get cremated turn back to ash, but that’s hardly environmentally friendly. The act of cremation is an energy inefficient CO2 spewing act - the last chance for members of our modern society to pollute this world. You might think that a traditional burial might be better, but people who get buried do not return to that from which we came in at many levels. Your body is embalmed (preserved) and placed in a coffin that typically takes a very long time to decompose. It’s unlikely your body will be returned to the soil before your grave site is upturned to add another body, unless someone is nice enough to pay for another 100-year lease.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel to an environmentally friendly light at the end of the tunnel. Erm.

Natural burials are, as you’d imagine, natural. The way they were done way back when your great-great-grandmother wasn’t even a twinkle in her mother’s eye. You’re not embalmed. You’re not placed in a coffin. You’re not buried in a cemetery.

Instead, you’re placed in a shroud that biodegrades very easily. You’re buried in a plot in a forest - a bush cemetery if you will. Sometimes you’re buried near trees, sometimes a tree is planted on top of you. Your body will start returning to the earth very quickly.

I for one will be rewriting my Will to ask that my body be disposed of in the most environmentally conscious way possible. That might mean a bush burial, or perhaps some better alternatives will be available when I die.

Would you do this? If not, why not? I can’t see any negative with this approach, but would love to hear your thoughts.

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