What to do with the (dead) body

About 94% of all people - are dead (SOURCE).

My wife and I recently bought our “forever” home (see pic). We don’t want to add the significant greenhouse (and other) gases of cremation (~500 pounds CO2 each) or the cement often used for traditional burials that also add about 800,000 gallons of embalming fluid to just the U.S. soil each year.

According to the Berkeley Planning Journal, conventional burials in the US every year use 30 million board feet of hardwoods, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze, 104,272 tons of steel, and 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete.

Land use is another big issue concerning burial. Our plots will be in a preserved forest (Kings Mountain, SC). This is a protected 54 acre remote area. Buried will be our bodies wrapped in a shroud (yep, just like Jesus, LOL). The round medallion by the wood stake is one of our full body burial spots.

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Wow, I’d have guessed it would be more like 98%-97%.

According to the United Nations’ “Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends,” modern Homo sapiens appeared about 50,000 B.C. At the dawn of agriculture, about 8000 B.C., the world’s population was around 5 million. By 1 A.D., the population had reached 300 million, which indicates a growth rate of 0.0512% per year. Life expectancy at birth averaged 10 years for most of human history.

Aug 13, 2023 - American Museum of Natural History

It took most of human history for our population to reach 1 billion—and just over 200 years to reach 8 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth’s resources, even as we approach 10 billion?

Another hint of how huge our presence is.

Back to the OP.
Looks like a nice restful place.
I’m taking the long way home, first my body is going to ScienceCare, when the harvesting is done, they cremate my remains and return the ashes to my loved ones.

I know that cremation isn’t near as “Earth friendly” as I used to think years ago, it is what it is. I’ll bet that lot cost a pretty penny, but well worth it if you can afford it. I can imagine the cozy feeling it imparts, knowing that’s there and waiting for my wife and I.
My mom used to recall a story about some famous German child’s author who had himself buried with an apple in his mouth, and sure enough a sturdy oak grew on the author’s grave and the kids had a tree to climb and enjoy, which was his wish.

I loved the story/idea. I don’t know if it’s true, later in years I’d try to imagine how a seed 6 feet under could reach up break through to the sod, but it’s like the Bible, why ruin a good story by worrying about its factuality. :wink:

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But an “apple seed” does not produce an Oak!

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I have been following innovations in burial for a while now. I’m glad more options are opening up. Nearby, someone bought some land and tried to get it zoned for green burial. It’s in the country, woods on one side, a farm on the other, and some nearby residences. People went ape. I won’t repeat the racist comments. Some were sure that if a drug addict was buried there, the drugs would pollute their groundwater. It was in the paper for a few months and now it’s on hold.


It’s half the price of a regular burial.

Opps, there is that, must have been an apple tree.
And it wasn’t the seed, it was the seedling making the struggle through the soil.
Of course, the answer to the riddle is that someone from the burial crew planted another apple (or a least a seed) just below the surface.

And it was apple, since part of the story was that they coupled eat apples, with playing in the tree. It’s the old age, gears getting rusty.

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Perhaps this is how the ritual of placing flowers on a grave began. The flowers drop seeds on the grave and the compost in the grave provides a ideal growth site for new life.

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I plan on having a green burial. I figure it’s a fitting end for a vegetarian. :smiley:

Cremation isn’t earth friendly. When they burn a corpse, it puts out carbon emissions and this goes out into the atmosphere. There are other chemicals that go out too. The only thing that is earth friendly is a green burial, which doesn’t have any embalming fluids or other chemicals. They just take that body and bury it under a tree outside the city limits as to not pollute the water supply and stuff.

How do you get a green burial?

You need to select a suitable green burial cemetery and make arrangements. You generally have two options. You can employ the services of a funeral director who offers a green burial service package. This would be the preparation of the deceased with no chemicals, providing a biodegradable casket, and transporting the deceased for a simple burial at the cemetery of your choice.

This is a green burial. No chemicals and no carbon emissions.

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Yes! I’m a vegetarian too. Vegan was too challenging for me.

I’d be vegan if vegan cheese didn’t taste so bad. I like cheese, but dairy gives my digestive tract lots of issues. Cheese the only thing I need to conquer and I hope they make better vegan/plant based cheese soon.

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No doubt.
But I don’t think the option is there for bodies donated to medical research.
I imagine cremation is the deal.
Donate organs, let students slice me up and look inside,
or donate compost to your countryside.

Both are kinda cool.

What is it Sinead said, be good but not too good. :wink:

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There was no need to edit my statement, CC. There are no chemicals and no carbon emissions with a green burial. You are not embalmed with a green burial. The body just rots and decays in the ground with a biodegradable coffin. It’s all natural and doesn’t pollute like cremation does. The only concern is keeping green burial sites away from water sources.

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Sorry, but you know me, the bottom-up squishy biological evolutionary reality stuff guy.


The most important structural element, and the reason we are known as carbon-based life forms. About 12 per cent of your body’s atoms are carbon.

What is the body made of? | New Scientist

So perhaps there is some concern about chemical by-products?
Just saying.

Everything is an exchange. It’s definitely better than a few dozen burners blasting a body to dust.

Interesting topic. I have to admit Green burials seem too much like virtue signalling. Just being dead forever is enough to offset whatever environmental crimes we commit during our disposal. It’s a free country, though. Burial itself is unappealing to me, so I’m going for burial at sea or cremation.

Hmm. At burial at sea, … yeah, that does sound pretty dignified… and about as green as possible.
If it mattered to me, I could see that going to the head of the list.

Oh, and I could agree with the rest your post too.
It can happen. :wink:

Besides, the burial rituals are more for those left behind, than the dearly departed.

Quite true, but those who know me, would see a green burial as a good way to remember me, because 1. it’s just a means to remember me by and 2. as I said before, it’s a fitting burial for a vegetarian.


I want a blue funeral.
Just drop me in the ocean, where I may become part of my name acquired by my baptism when “crossing the equatorial line”. The name Neptune gave me :

Flying Fish.
I have the official document signed by my captain


Only in the process of rotting and decaying naturally. The worms go in and the worms go out.


Great comments! And the other options mentioned are certainly acceptable. It is a personal choice - and I am certainly pro-choice!

There is a comforting feeling knowing that I have taken care of everything in advance and that I have thought this life out to the end.

Even the soil is carefully removed and replaced at the same depth from which it came so that water filtration of the soil remains as it was originally. And yes, zero chemicals added! Burial site is environmentally placed away from streams and specific distances from trees. No heavy equipment allowed in the preserve, so grave is dug by hand.

The organization I look to for green burials is the Green Burial Council


That’s cool. I looked into that but couldn’t find the right people to transport my body without embalming.