It all started when…
Reduce ~ Reuse~ Recycle Why not?
Growing up in the Midwest on a farm raised by parents from the Depression era we were “Green” before it was ever talked about. Until recycling became a popular topic, I always thought my parents were just cheap. They always recycled, reused and reduced almost everything. Until the 70’s and the Keep America Beautiful campaign came out on TV, most people didn’t think too much about littering. Remember the Tearful Indian service announcement? The Keep America Beautiful campaign actually began in the 50’s but with visualization on TV most people weren’t aware of what we were doing to our planet. Now most cities and counties have recycling programs for residents. We certainly have recycled at work going back to the 90’s. Big businesses spurred on the incentive of reducing waste and recycling beginning in the previous decade. Their interest was a reduction in space in their stores so they could offer more product and less packaging weight in shipping to us the consumer. Whatever the economics of the cause, the effect benefits us all. With online shopping, grocery pick-up and deliveries, product deliveries by drones our world is rapidly becoming a reality of what it might be to live in the world of The Jetson’s.
With the current world population of 7.4 billion people and growing at 1.13% per year we need to be cognizant of our space for the future. So why not reduce, reuse and recycle our bodies?
We certainly can reuse our bodies upon our death. If you are in reasonably good health organ donation has been an option since 1954 with the first kidney transplant. One donor can help as many as 8 people. If you just aren’t sure or want more information you can check out organdonor.gov.
There are 57,491,000 square miles or 36,794,240,000 acres of land space on earth. Of course, that’s not all land that can be inhabited. That sounds like a lot of ground to cover but the human race is doing a fair share of accomplishing that task. It is estimated .03% of that are cemeteries or 1,103,827,200 acres. There are many options for reducing the spaces taken up by burial. A lot of options involve cremation and have your ashes shot into space or they can be mixed with concrete and become part of a barrier reef. Another method of reduction developed has been resomation or bio-cremation where chemicals and water liquefies the body. The remains can actually go back into your drinking water system. You can be frozen and stored in hopes you can be brought back to life sometime in the future. Recently one of the most notable was Hall of Fame Boston Red Sox Ted Williams, who unfortunately had his head stolen from his body after being frozen. You can still be mummified like the ancient Eqyptians. All of these options require some sort of energy production to accomplish the task. Or there is a simple option of natural burial.
Why not recycle your body back to the earth? Burial can be as simple or complex as your wish depending on the place you choose to be buried. Some states allow burial in your own back yard but there are many regulations that must be met prior to burial so it requires planning prior to death. “Green” or Natural cemeteries are becoming an option in the US and there are different levels of a means for burial. With a casket or without. Cremation or natural decomposition. It really can be up to you to live and die as the ultimate conservator of our world.