SEATTLE — As Halloween approaches and the skeletons and ghosts rise up from the dead, we're reminded of the great equalizer: the big dirt nap.
Unfortunately, when someone gets to the end, there's a ton of financial stress as we put our loved ones to rest.
“Funerals are relatively new, corporations came in and said, we can sell a 10,000 casket, we can sell a 5,000 vault” Noted William Beresford, the Assistant Field Director of Beresford Funeral Service, which offers Natural burial options.
But a more wallet-friendly option is gaining popularity, but it happens to be more eco-friendly too.
A 'Green' or 'Natural' burial is where you bury a body directly in the ground or in a decomposing casket without embalming fluid, so you go back into the earth without hurting the environment.
It’s something that’s been around since basically the beginning of time and is coming back into fashion as people seek more environmentally friendly options in every aspect of their life.
“This new generation is driving green cars, using green energy, eating organic food, and they want to be buried in the same way they lived their lives," Beresford said.
What we know as traditional burial involved filling the body with embalming fluid and using a casket that’s made with a lot of metal.
The problem with this method is that it takes a long time for the materials in the coffin to break down into the earth and the chemicals in the embalming fluid eventually enters the soil and gets into our ecosystem.
Not to mention the fact that there won’t eventually be enough land to continue to bury every single person in a city.
To help with these rising concerns, One Seattle architect named Katrina Spade, has started The Urban Death Project-which hopes to change the way we spend our eternal slumber.
Basically, the plans are that when you die, your body gets made into to compost by a big machine that`s inside of a public memorial park and you`ll turn back into nature as naturally as possible.
Spade hopes to make the parks places of remembrance and community while encouraging people to think ecologically while planning civic layout.
The project hopes to begin testing next year and wild ideas like this are starting to grow on people.
“Why do you want to be buried somewhere you wouldn`t want to visit, people don’t want that stigma and that doom and gloom. They want to more celebrate that person’s life.” Expressed Tammy Friedman, the Vice President of Distinctive Life Cremations and Funerals, which specializes in unique disposition ideas that celebrate the deceased’s life.
But the Urban Death Project isn`t the only disposition idea that’s thinking outside the box...or coffin.
Both Beresford and Friedman informed us that you can be turned into fire works, or get shot out of a shotgun, be buried at sea, turned into a diamond or decorative glass, and even have your remains blasted into space- and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Pretty much anything you can think of being laid to rest is possible at this point.
Looks like the traditional casket could stay 6 feet deep once and for all.
Just don't get too excited about these new burial and cremation techniques because you have to be dead to use them.