Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

When you die, what do you want done with your remains? There are many different options, including the traditional burial. A lot of people are now switching over to being cremated, while few others are choosing less popular methods. How is dying, and burial related to the environment?

Cemeteries are over running our planet. While this isn’t a huge issue for most, and I wasn’t aware of this issue until very recently, it is something that could get out of hand. You see, cemeteries are huge plots of land that are covered in tombstones. For loved ones, it’s a great way to remember them. I would argue that this is a huge waste of land. People being buried in wooden boxes in the earth, taking up space, with tombstones above them.

I would propose a more environmentally friendly approach. Trees. I mentioned how trees are very important, and way too many are being cut down. While yes, some need to be chopped down for us, most do not. It would take a lot to get this activity to stop.

So instead of tombstones, trees should be planted! A biodegradable tree-urn was invented for those who’d like to help out the environment when they die. The body is cremated into cremains, which is nutrient rich, and placed into the urn. It is then planted, and voila, a tree is planted. Imagine a whole cemetery full of trees instead of tombstones!

Some people have argued that the remains of those in the urns aren’t actually nutrient rich, and aren’t actually helping the tree grow by fertilizing it. According to an article in Discovery News, cremains do contain nutrients such as phosphorus. Though it is true, the ashes don’t end up IN the tree. It is still a great metaphor: to become a tree, or live on as a tree when you die.

Despite the science behind it, no matter your personal spiritual beliefs, trees replacing tombstones all over the world would be a revolutionary way to bring trees back to our environment.

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3 thoughts on “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

  1. afc6417 February 8, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    It is very interesting that as someone also concerned for the conservation of our environment and productive use of land, I have not heard or considered this myself. I am curious to know how many acres of land cemeteries consume annually. I like how you almost used on of the templates for disagreeing with Discovery News by supporting their argument then clearly rebutting it saying it is not true and stating your opinion/research findings.

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  2. daviddial33 February 9, 2015 / 5:52 am

    You really have to wonder why this wasn’t the first idea for burying somebody. Who really thought to put a body inside of a steel box and bury it with the expectation it was going to be there for a very long time. It really is a waste of resources and money to bury people the way we do now and completely unnatural. Kind of hard to argue being a tree instead of a tombstone when you put it this way. We seem to have more respect for our dead instead of the living with our current system.

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  3. amg7061 February 9, 2015 / 6:40 am

    You bring up a really good point on one of our societies weird practices. The thought of wasting land space and money on the body of someone who can no longer contribute to us is kind of weird. The tree urn seems like a pretty cool alternative to just the typical burial. Have you heard of the type of burial where your body is used to help support coral reefs? It is called Eternal Reefs, it is the same concept as the tree urn. I think it is important to look for alternative ceremonies that will benefit our planet instead of using resources.

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