For the environmentally-conscious, Natural Organic Reduction (composting) is a low-toxicity, carbon-capturing burial option.
Leaving an Ecological Footprint
We have had a few episodes about options for burial or what to do with human remains. Nearly all have an environmental cost. Embalming uses toxic chemicals that may eventually leach into surrounding soil. Flame cremation in the U.S. produces as much CO2 as burning 800,000 barrels of oil – for an individual. This is equivalent to taking a flight from London to Rome.
Our topic this week is human composting, which is now legal in five states. “This is an alternative method of final disposition that won’t contribute emissions into our atmosphere and will actually capture CO2 in our soil and trees,” said Cristina Garcia, the lawmaker who drafted California’s human composting bill. “For each individual who chooses NOR [Natural Organic Reduction, or composting] over conventional burial or cremation, the process saves the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon from entering the environment.”
Composting is an alternative to burial or cremation. A deceased body is covered in natural materials and over the course of about three to seven weeks, thanks to microbial activity, it breaks down into nutrient-dense soil. As this process is happening, families can visit the facility where this is taking place. They will ultimately receive the soil that remains. It’s up to the family to determine how they want to use that soil.
We talk about some of the options, including using mushrooms to purify toxins in the body as they break it down in a trendy burial suit, such as the one 90210 actor Luke Perry was buried in.
- S2E41: A Fascinating Guide to What Happens to Your Body After You Die
- S2E43: Everything You Need to Know About Cremation
- S2E45: What You Need to Know About Embalming
- S2E46: Water Cremation – The Green Option
- S1E01: Why Do People Die?
Grief as a Milennial
Claire Luckey, who goes under the name “Grieving Bitch” on Instagram has joined the Everyone Dies correspondent team. At age 32 and only 5 months into her marriage, her husband did not recognize her when she arrived home from work one day. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 glioblastoma (brain cancer) in February 2020, and Claire was his caregiver until his death in June of 2021.
Claire struggled to find any resources for dealing with loss of a spouse at such a young age. She channeled her sense of humor (and inner bitch) by creating the “Grieving Bitch” account on Instagram. Claire is sharing her grief journey and life challenges as a 34-year-old widow living in New York City with Everyone Dies in a regular ‘Third Half’ segment.
Claire joins us to talk about how she and her husband found ways to maintain intimacy through the course of his illness. Some days this means ice cream and cuddles! She also talks about vibrators and recommends her favorite.
Live Every Day
Marianne has been enjoying Willie Nelson’s album “A Beautiful Time”, a reflective album that encompasses a lot of the topics and values we have for this show. She shared the lyrics for Live Every Day – you can listen below.
Live Every Day - From Willie Nelson's Album A Beautiful Time Live every day like it was your last one And one day you're gonna be right Treat everyone like you wanna be treated See how that changes your life Yesterday is dead and tomorrow is blind And the future is way out of sight Live every day like it was your last one And one day you're gonna be right If there someone you love You haven't told them You wanna tell them today If there someone you've wrong And you've not said I'm sorry It might be a good thing to say Pick up the phone and send them a message It's time to make everything right Live every day like it was your last one One day you're gonna be right Live every day like it was your last one And one day you're gonna be right Treat everyone like you wanna be treated See how that changes your life Yesterday is dead and tomorrow is blind And the future is way out of sight Just live every day like it was your last one And one day you're gonna be right Live every day like it was your last one And one day you're gonna be right Treat everyone like you wanna be treated See how that changes your life Yesterday is dead and tomorrow is blind And the future is way out of sight And just live every day like it was your last one And one day you're gonna be right Live every day like it was your last one And one day you're gonna be right
You can purchase Willie’s album here: https://amzn.to/3xDPc1n #affiliate
Recipe of the Week
Since we’ve been on the topic of mushrooms, how about something soulful to warm you this fall? A nice scalloped potato and mushroom casserole with spinach and swiss cheese. Sound like an answer to a midweek “what’s for dinner” crisis? Head over to Taste of Home for the full recipe and directions.
As a songwriter, ‘Everyone Dies’ is inviting you to showcase your original work on an upcoming podcast.
There are many wonderful songs that could be played at a funeral. We also know there are songs that could be played, but are cringeworthy (e.g. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead; Another One Bites the Dust; Ring of Fire, etc.).
We are inviting you to send us a recording of two of your original songs (i.e. that could be played at a funeral, one that is appropriate, one that is likely not) to be included in the third half of the ‘Everyone Dies’ podcast. We will include as many artists over the next year (maybe longer if we are enjoying the segment) as possible.
What we need:
Go to this link, fill out the form and submit it along with your two original songs in .wav or .mp3 format (i.e. two original songs that could be played at a funeral, one that is appropriate, one that is likely not). We will screen them and let you know what week your work will be included. We will include all your information in our show notes so people can purchase your recordings.
From Everyone Dies:
Everyone Dies: and yes, it is normal!
Everyone Dies (and yes, it is normal) is a story about a young boy named Jax who finds something special on the beach where he and his grandpa Pops are enjoying a wonderful day. Pops helps Jax understand that death is a normal part of life. This book provides an age appropriate, non-scary, comfortable way to introduce the important topic of mortality to a preschool child. Its simple explanation will last a lifetime. Autographed copies for sale at: www.everyonediesthebook.com. Also available at Amazon
We offer a way to memorialize your loved one or treasured pet with a piece of handmade jewelry. When people comment on it and the wearer can say for example “I received this when my mother died” which opens the conversation about this loss. All our jewelry is made with semi-precious stones and beads, vintage beads, and pearls. You can choose between earrings or bracelets and the color family. Learn More
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