Life Wellbeing Alternative burials: What a way to go
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Alternative burials: What a way to go

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We all remember gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes being shot from a Johnny Depp activated cannon over the writer’s Woody Creek, Colorado property back in 2005. Weird, huh?

Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes being shot from a cannon.
Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes being shot from a cannon.

Then there is that parable about old Louis Wallerstein’s green funeral that saw him lost in a pet cemetery entombed in a cardboard coffin after everyone forgot the plot coordinates.

A cardboard coffin.
A cardboard coffin.

There’s your traditional Egyptian mummification to deceased Vikings flung out on ships and sometimes set alight. There are actually some legitimate reasons why going eco makes sense (if done right), but there are also bizarre ways to say farewell for the absolutely last time.

A Viking farewell.
A Viking farewell.

Liquefaction

Resomator-S750Scottish company Resomation Ltd. installed its first commercial “alkaline hydrolysis” unit at a Florida funeral home. By submerging corpses in a heated, pressurised solution of water and potassium hydroxide, all the soft tissue is liquefied in less than three hours. Environmental benefits? There is a claim that the process produces a third less greenhouse gas than cremation.

Cryonic

cryochamberOld Walt Disney and John Wayne entertained the big freeze (but didn’t go through with it) but you can! At a price, though. Fork out $US200,000 for a whole-body preservation, and remarkably a head-only preservation for around $US80,000. Head only? How does that work?

Green Burial

Egyptian-MummyReconnect with the earth, avoid costly embalming fees and be at one with your biodegradable casket, shroud or fave blanky. Simply wait for nature to do its thing with you until all that remains is your soul as you drift off into the afterlife with the birds and the bees laying down the score to your grand exit.

Plastination

Plastination---Kneeling-Lady-with-Gunther-von-HagensRemember old boy/anatomist Gunther von Hagens from TV? Used in medical schools and anatomy labs to preserve organ specimens for education, this is kind of freaky but von Hagens has developed a plastinated bodies exhibit with deceased humans posing in frozen form. Curiously, thousands have already signed up to play a part in this.

Bios Urn

urnabios2Ever wanted to be turned into a tree? No, nor did we, but this organisation from Spain is onto something here. They’ve designed a biodegradable urn made from coconut shell, compacted peat and cellulose, and inside is, you guessed it, the seed of a tree! From there you are planted and, hey presto! Your dog will love you.

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