The month of hooky-spooky is coming to a close, and in the finale I'm happy for the opportunity to feature Ann Rains of New-Harmony Gazette as the guest author of today's edition of the Pumpkin Run Pulse.
Be warned, her subject matter might leave you feeling a bit squeamish, but I believe it's important info for you to know. As grim as the subject is, Ann presents it with her witty, and flawless Southern flair that manages to brighten up even the darkest of subjects.
Halloween is evident with porches and lawns being adorned with witches, ghosts and R.I.P. tombstones. The R.I.P. tombstones remind me every year that if I really want to rest in peace, I need to make preparations.
Being concerned about the amount of real estate that the billions of people who expire are consuming, I had more or less decided that cremation is the way to go. After all, an urn takes up much less room than a coffin. No need for embalming with toxic formaldehyde. No need for a concrete vault grave liner either. In fact, if one wishes, burial of the ashes is unnecessary. The ashes can be thrown to the winds. Now, that is being environmentally friendly! Or so I thought.
Here are some interesting facts for you.
When one is cremated, “the energy equivalent of 12 to 24 gallons of gasoline, depending on the size of decedent” is used. … its carbon dioxide emissions average about 150 pounds.”
Don’t forget that most of us have amalgam dental fillings which include mercury. “By one estimate, it’s two to four grams per corpse. At today’s cremation rate, this equals 2 or 3 percent of total mercury emissions.” Even in death we pollute the Earth!
However, there is another method of disposing of a corpse. Presently it is repulsive to me. But, hey, I’m not going to know it. But lucky or unlucky for me, it is not legal in Indiana. It is known as alkaline hydrolysis.
With alkaline hydrolysis, you are baked in a “caustic potassium hydroxide at a much lower temperature, reducing you to softened bones and teeth and a sterile liquid stew that is flushed away.” Those amalgam fillings in your teeth remain behind and can be gathered up and recycled.
I may never get another filling at the dentist’s office! At least not in Colorado, Wyoming, Minnesota, Oregon, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maine or Illinois where alkaline hydrolysis is legal.
Since the temperatures used in AH are so much lower, the emissions are only 10 to 15 percent of what the emissions are for cremation. So if you are concerned for the environment and how you will affect the planet after death, alkaline hydrolysis may be an option. That is, if you aren’t adverse to being flushed down the drain.
Happy Halloween and may we all R.I.P.
*Ann Rains can be reached via email to email@example.com.
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