In a blog recently published on Waste & Recycling News, Maria Kirch writes about being environmentally responsible in death.
The blog discusses the new eco-friendly coffins that can be decorated to your desires and biodegradable corporate clothing line known as the first 100% environmentally responsible tailored funeral wear.
It started me to think about death, population, garbage, landfilling and burial plots.
Let’s take death and population first. Currently approximately 150,000 people die each day and it is expected that 40% of these people will opt for cremation (incineration). Some who die unforeseen deaths and are healthy at death will hopefully donate their organs to medical institutions for reuse to better the life of humans who need them, i.e. human organ recycling.
Cemetery space is becoming like landfill space, diminishing greatly. Presently, in the United States, 230 million tons of solid waste is landfilled each year. The population growth of 19.5% for every 1,000 people will not only create a vast increase in garbage disposal, but also create a vast increase in burial ground requirements.
Will land be used for garbage, for cemetery plots or for food? Statistics point out that one has to realize the future of the earth’s limitations and the future use of its land do to population growth. The siting of new landfills, as well as the need for burial space, will forcibly make our earth’s livable ground disappear in a short time.
One thought might be, can we use old landfills for burial grounds? Just the thought of being buried in a garbage dump makes me cringe.
Landfill mining is starting to be become a trend by digging out the recyclables to create more landfill space. Now done in the Netherlands, the reality will that all landfills will install onsite waste-to-energy units to incinerate or cremate the remaining landfill waste after the recyclable are mined. They are starting to remove the recyclables before landfilled and incinerate (cremate) the rest of the garbage for energy without putting it in a landfill.
Incineration or cremation of anything leaves a minimal amount of ash that can be disposed of or recycled, and when a human is cremated, the ash can be kept in an urn or spread over the person’s favorite spot.
The aforementioned will give us back our natural resources found in the recyclables, and eliminate a great portion of our solid waste by creating much needed energy and land space.
As hard as it is we humans have to start to think seriously about our environmental impact while we are busy resting in peace. Each and every one of us must think about organ donation, i.e. recycling, land space, cremation as opposed to cemetery plots, while at the same time taking advantage of the eco-friendly coffins, and biodegradable corporate clothing.
If the waste industry can do it — so can us humans!