Fast Company

A Pollution-Free Burial

Most of us don't think much about the impact of our future death on the environment. But Nina and Ron Coler, of Ashfield, Massachusetts (a few miles from me) have extended their commitment to sustainability into their deaths.

They've aleady taken huge steps to minimize their footprint; their off-grid solar house, the heating wood they grow and harvest on their own 150-acre property, and the 133 acres of that land they've put under conservation restrictions, for instance.

Now they've gotten permission to do natural burials for themselves and family members, on their property. No embalming chemicals needed. Their inspiration was a book called Grave Matters: A Journey through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial by Mark Harris.

Considering that animals die in the woods all the time and are left to decompose without any apparent ill effects on the environment, why is it that we humans have to poison our corpses with chemicals?

You can see a link to the article in today's Daily Hampshire Gazette (my local paper), but you have to be a subscriber to follow the link and read the article.

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