Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

 
Pause Switch to Standard View A Really Hot Topic
Show More
Loading...
Flag Stardove December 4, 2011 12:50 PM EST
Are Dead People Our Next Renewable Energy Source?

A crematorium in the United Kingdom recently announced that it would use heat from its burners to produce electricity and bring down its energy costs.

In Britain, crematoriums are a major source of air pollution from the mercury in dental fillings. The government has mandated that all such establishments cut their emissions in half by next year and eliminate them altogether by the end of the decade.

Durham Crematorium decided to take the required renovation as an opportunity to reduce its utility bills as well as its toxic emissions.


A dead heat - crematorium to sell power for National Grid

A crematorium is planning to become the first in the UK to generate electricity to sell to the National Grid - by using heat from its furnaces.

Durham Crematorium wants to install turbines in two of its burners, which would use the heat generated during the cremation process to provide the same amount of electricity as would power 1,500 televisions.

A third burner is to be used to provide heating for the site's chapel and its offices.

More at links.

With the cost of a funerals it seems more people are choosing cremation for their loved ones or people are making sure cremation is what happens when they die.


Why are more and more people getting cremated rather than buried?

Click on link for some answers to this question on Yahoo.

Flag mainecaptain December 4, 2011 1:01 PM EST

If I am understanding this correctly, I kind of like the idea. I don't mind helping create energy with my remains.

Flag REteach December 4, 2011 1:57 PM EST

Ditto.  I won't be there any more.  

Flag vra December 4, 2011 3:04 PM EST

My friends and relatives have been saying that I've been polluting the air all my life, so why should I stop after I'm dead?

Flag Wanderingal December 4, 2011 3:25 PM EST

Dec 4, 2011 -- 1:01PM, mainecaptain wrote:


If I am understanding this correctly, I kind of like the idea. I don't mind helping create energy with my remains.




Me too. If my physical leftovers can help in some way rather than causing problems I'd consider that a "good death."


"Just let me die in the grass."

Flag Stardove December 4, 2011 4:14 PM EST

Dec 4, 2011 -- 1:01PM, mainecaptain wrote:


If I am understanding this correctly, I kind of like the idea. I don't mind helping create energy with my remains.



I do believe you got the point.  The heat/fire to cremate a body is really high, so this one company has decided while having to cut emissions (by law) why not go ahead and harvest the energy of the fire to create energy.


Trains used to run on coal fires.


Locally we have a train with a steam engine of which goes from Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards.  It is totally a tourist thing, not public transportation. It puts off a lot of black smoke, too.  I've only taken the ride once and that was enough for me.  I felt like "I had been taken for a ride."  Went with friends from out of town or I would not have gone that one time.

Flag rangerken December 4, 2011 5:32 PM EST

1. Great idea....seriously...I like it.


And now being a little not so serious.....


2. Given the demonstrated level of hot air on Beliefnet, to which I am proud to have been contributing for over ten years, I have no doubt that many of us would provide superior levels of energy.


3. We could think of ourselves as potential exothermic reactions with Kilojoules waiting to be used.


Ken

Flag rocketjsquirell December 4, 2011 5:48 PM EST

Putting aside my reservations about cremation, I think it is a great idea, why waste resources? 

Flag mountain_man December 4, 2011 6:56 PM EST

Dec 4, 2011 -- 5:48PM, rocketjsquirell wrote:

Putting aside my reservations about cremation, I think it is a great idea, why waste resources?


It takes a lot of gas to cremate a human body, far more than the body itself contributes to the process. It's that left over heat that would be use.


Good idea..... but of course.... I have a better one; a natural burial. That would be just the body, no casket, no embalming, if desired a biodegradable paper bag, and that's it. An RFID tag would be place in the grave, but no other marker of any kind. If appropriate to the location, a tree may be planted and you can fertilize the tree as you decay.


It appears I'm not the only one with this idea; here's more info.


I was going to be cremated, but I like this better. It feels more like it completes the cycle.

Flag rocketjsquirell December 4, 2011 7:13 PM EST

Mountainman


Except for the RFD tag, you are describing traditional Jewish burial. No embalming - 100% bio-degradable (the quicker the better). We also like to use grave markers in order to preserve the site from later disturbance. 


Flag MMarcoe December 4, 2011 8:21 PM EST

I have something better than all this.


A company in Sweden is experimenting with composting human ashes from cremation. Seems like a good idea to me.


If I could die knowing I was fertilizing a crop of basil, it would be a happy exit for me.

Flag Stardove December 4, 2011 8:47 PM EST

Dec 4, 2011 -- 6:56PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 4, 2011 -- 5:48PM, rocketjsquirell wrote:

Putting aside my reservations about cremation, I think it is a great idea, why waste resources?


It takes a lot of gas to cremate a human body, far more than the body itself contributes to the process. It's that left over heat that would be use.


Good idea..... but of course.... I have a better one; a natural burial. That would be just the body, no casket, no embalming, if desired a biodegradable paper bag, and that's it. An RFID tag would be place in the grave, but no other marker of any kind. If appropriate to the location, a tree may be planted and you can fertilize the tree as you decay.


It appears I'm not the only one with this idea; here's more info.


I was going to be cremated, but I like this better. It feels more like it completes the cycle.



The only issue I see with eco burial, so there are not that many places which will allow this type of burial.  Most city codes are not going to let this happen.  Bodies which are not embalmed have to be buried quickly with no viewing (here anyway). 


I did have one great-great uncle Joe Cole who was buried on his own land, but he was in a coffin.  We walked a mile following an old covered wagon carrying his coffin from the road to the oak tree where he was buried.  We did have a moment where we thought his coffin was coming off that wagon! (see the link)


I've told my children to cremate my body and make some jewelry out of the small bones. Surprised


BUT NOT TILL I'M DEAD!

Flag mountain_man December 4, 2011 10:00 PM EST

Dec 4, 2011 -- 8:47PM, Stardove wrote:

The only issue I see with eco burial, so there are not that many places which will allow this type of burial.  Most city codes are not going to let this happen.  Bodies which are not embalmed have to be buried quickly with no viewing (here anyway).


In many places it is perfectly fine. Maybe not for an in town cemetery, but out in the country, there should be no problem. If short term preservation is needed, they can use ecofriendly, biodegradable, embalming fluids. And the cemetery doesn't have to be just for that one use. Out where I live there are thousands of acres of grazing land that would be perfect.


I did have one great-great uncle Joe Cole who was buried on his own land, but he was in a coffin.  We walked a mile following an old covered wagon carrying his coffin from the road to the oak tree where he was buried.  We did have a moment where we thought his coffin was coming off that wagon! (see the link)


I've told my children to cremate my body and make some jewelry out of the small bones.

BUT NOT TILL I'M DEAD!


I was going to be cremated, but I think I'll change that to an eco burial. Edward Abby had it right; "He wanted his body transported in the bed of a pickup truck. He wanted to be buried as soon as possible. He wanted no undertakers. No embalming, for Godsake. No coffin. Just an old sleeping bag... Disregard all state laws concerning burial. "I want my body to help fertilize the growth of a cactus or cliff rose or sagebrush or tree." said the message." Source.



Anyway, the wisest of all sages, Anonymous once quipped; "The dead should not take room from the living." I agree.

Flag karbie December 4, 2011 10:06 PM EST

Or you could skip all of these and will your body to Science...


My family knows my wishes--first, that no drastic measures be used to keep me alive; that everything someone else can use be harvested, then cremation.  I figure that after I've been cremated everyone who wanted a piece of me at the same time can have it; and if possilbe I'd like the rest to fertilize the lilac bush in my childhood home's back yard. If not, my sister has a lilac bush in her backyard.


My uncle's best friend from birth to grave was cremated with a memorial service; so were my aunt and uncle. They kept her alive just long enough to harvest her organs; she'd suffered a massive stroke that made her chances of ever waking up-or waking up as herself -impossible. She'd left instructions on where she wanted her remains scattered, and it's a safe bet my uncle ended up being scattered at the same place.


If her grave site hadn't already been paid for and the marker only awaiting the final date to be added, Mother would be cremated  herself; my sister and her husband will both be cremated and can have their remains set in one plot. She says having a memorial service with a reception afterward--the old-time Irish wake condensed-is much, much easier on the family.


The cemetery where most of my family is only accepts flat grave markers because it is easier (cheaper) maintenance when you can just have a lawn tractor mow the grass. They have above ground crypts as well, but all that does is give people a place to cry. None of us stick by our mortal remains are counting whether or not our descendants come and bring flowers.


The year after my Grandpa died, I had a very strong urge to leave him something he would have appreciated more than flowers--the core of a watermelon. He'd talked to us once about the best melons were the ones he and some of the other boys at the orphanage stole out of farms. If they were caught, they had to work at the farm to pay for what they ate. He got flowers--but my suggestion made both my mother and Grandma laugh. They both agreed with me that he would have loved it, but the maintenance people wouldn't.


That's what the funeral industry and cemeteries have given us--high costs for funeral and burial, and making sure that the "Eternal Care" doesn't cost them too much for upkeep.So I guess cheating them out of as many fees as possible sounds good. They can take out my teeth for future scientist can guess what my life was a hundred years from now. that takes care of the mercury emissions, and on my way out, I will have a "hot body" one last time.

Flag Ebon December 4, 2011 10:28 PM EST

Dec 4, 2011 -- 6:56PM, mountain_man wrote:

If appropriate to the location, a tree may be planted and you can fertilize the tree as you decay.



I really like that idea. Gives your loved ones somewhere nice to come if they want to visit your grave and contributes to the cycle of life. One could even include one of the cardboard caskets now being used over here (Grimmer was cremated in one).


To the OP: I have much the same burial plans I've had for years. Firstly, donate anything that might be remotely useful to appropriate bodies (forgive the pun). Secondly, dump me in the ground or cremate me. Thirdly, leave some kind of marker so that my loved ones will (hopefully) have someplace nice to come and remember me (under a tree planted on my grave would be ideal).The body is merely a temporary container for the soul so I don't much care what happens to it once I'm no longer occupying it.



That said, please consider this a plea for everyone whose faith or cultural traditions allow it to sign up for organ donation. You're not going to be using your heart, lungs or eyes once you're dead but the living are still in desperate need of them. Your doctors will NOT let you die to harvest your organs, that's just a stupid urban legend but wouldn't you like to know that even as you shuffle off this mortal coil, you can help someone else live, help a blind man see, give someone the gift of life? Life is precious, life is fragile and life is too easily ended. If you never listened to another word I wrote, listen to this and I'll be happy.


www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/how_to_becom... (UK organ donor register)


organdonor.gov/ (US organ donor register)


Anyone from another country, message me and I'll be overjoyed to help you find your local register.

Flag mainecaptain December 4, 2011 10:36 PM EST

Dec 4, 2011 -- 10:28PM, Ebon wrote:


Dec 4, 2011 -- 6:56PM, mountain_man wrote:

If appropriate to the location, a tree may be planted and you can fertilize the tree as you decay.



I really like that idea. Gives your loved ones somewhere nice to come if they want to visit your grave and contributes to the cycle of life. One could even include one of the cardboard caskets now being used over here (Grimmer was cremated in one).


To the OP: I have much the same burial plans I've had for years. Firstly, donate anything that might be remotely useful to appropriate bodies (forgive the pun). Secondly, dump me in the ground or cremate me. Thirdly, leave some kind of marker so that my loved ones will (hopefully) have someplace nice to come and remember me (under a tree planted on my grave would be ideal).The body is merely a temporary container for the soul so I don't much care what happens to it once I'm no longer occupying it.



That said, please consider this a plea for everyone whose faith or cultural traditions allow it to sign up for organ donation. You're not going to be using your heart, lungs or eyes once you're dead but the living are still in desperate need of them. Your doctors will NOT let you die to harvest your organs, that's just a stupid urban legend but wouldn't you like to know that even as you shuffle off this mortal coil, you can help someone else live, help a blind man see, give someone the gift of life? Life is precious, life is fragile and life is too easily ended. If you never listened to another word I wrote, listen to this and I'll be happy.


www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/how_to_becom... (UK organ donor register)


organdonor.gov/ (US organ donor register)


Anyone from another country, message me and I'll be overjoyed to help you find your local register.




Pretty much covers my feelings as well.


And I would love being under a tree. I love trees.

Flag Wanderingal December 4, 2011 11:30 PM EST

Amen amen on the organ donation.


And after that if you really want an all natural body disposal get sent out to the desert here and left above ground--dessication in a very few days depending on the season--and providing nourishment for a wide variety of organisms from the microscopic on up the chain alll the way to scavengers including eagles and hawks to feed their offspring.


That's one way-in addition to organ donation--to insure that even your physical body will live on and contribute to the contiuning flow of life......This is the way some Native American Peoples "bury" their dead. It is also a custom among some India Indian Peoples.


 (This would mean no embalming--all natural--get packed in dry ice for the trip to the desert.)

Flag jane2 December 4, 2011 11:33 PM EST

Dec 4, 2011 -- 10:36PM, mainecaptain wrote:


Dec 4, 2011 -- 10:28PM, Ebon wrote:


Dec 4, 2011 -- 6:56PM, mountain_man wrote:

If appropriate to the location, a tree may be planted and you can fertilize the tree as you decay.



I really like that idea. Gives your loved ones somewhere nice to come if they want to visit your grave and contributes to the cycle of life. One could even include one of the cardboard caskets now being used over here (Grimmer was cremated in one).


To the OP: I have much the same burial plans I've had for years. Firstly, donate anything that might be remotely useful to appropriate bodies (forgive the pun). Secondly, dump me in the ground or cremate me. Thirdly, leave some kind of marker so that my loved ones will (hopefully) have someplace nice to come and remember me (under a tree planted on my grave would be ideal).The body is merely a temporary container for the soul so I don't much care what happens to it once I'm no longer occupying it.



That said, please consider this a plea for everyone whose faith or cultural traditions allow it to sign up for organ donation. You're not going to be using your heart, lungs or eyes once you're dead but the living are still in desperate need of them. Your doctors will NOT let you die to harvest your organs, that's just a stupid urban legend but wouldn't you like to know that even as you shuffle off this mortal coil, you can help someone else live, help a blind man see, give someone the gift of life? Life is precious, life is fragile and life is too easily ended. If you never listened to another word I wrote, listen to this and I'll be happy.


www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/how_to_becom... (UK organ donor register)


organdonor.gov/ (US organ donor register)


Anyone from another country, message me and I'll be overjoyed to help you find your local register.




Pretty much covers my feelings as well.


And I would love being under a tree. I love trees.




I'll be under a tree--already bought the plot next to my husband's grave. We had been married 40 years when he died. I still have a single red rose from the garland that covered his casket. I'm sure my funeral and burial will be tradtional Christian--fitting for me and our family.




 

Flag mountain_man December 4, 2011 11:42 PM EST

Dec 4, 2011 -- 10:28PM, Ebon wrote:

....That said, please consider this a plea for everyone whose faith or cultural traditions allow it to sign up for organ donation...


Of course, all this is to be done after organ donation if that's OK with the persons beliefs/desires.

Flag rangerken December 5, 2011 1:35 AM EST

Good point about organ donation. In Massachusetts we can indicate on our drivers licenses that we are organ donors, which I have done. I should have added that to my admittedly smart ass remarks.


Ken

Flag Wanderingal December 5, 2011 2:51 AM EST

Ken--did you know it's been shown that somone who insists on making jokes when others are in he middle of a serious discussion about death has been proved to be very afraid of death?

Flag costrel December 5, 2011 8:38 AM EST

Dec 4, 2011 -- 11:30PM, Wanderingal wrote:

Amen amen on the organ donation.


And after that if you really want an all natural body disposal get sent out to the desert here and left above ground--dessication in a very few days depending on the season--and providing nourishment for a wide variety of organisms from the microscopic on up the chain alll the way to scavengers including eagles and hawks to feed their offspring.


That's one way-in addition to organ donation--to insure that even your physical body will live on and contribute to the contiuning flow of life......This is the way some Native American Peoples "bury" their dead. It is also a custom among some India Indian Peoples.


 (This would mean no embalming--all natural--get packed in dry ice for the trip to the desert.)



But can people legally bury bodies above-ground any longer? Every authority that I have conversed with, and all the books that I have read on U.S. burial laws, assert that it cannot legally be done. The body must either be cremated or buried below ground (and depending on state laws and local zoning laws, natural burial, private home burial, and burial in a private family burial ground are three possible options).


In fact, certain states even have burial statues that specify how many inches of dirt must cover a body and how far away a burial must be from a water supply. For instance, in California bodies must be buried at least 18 inches underground and a private home cemetery must have at least six bodies in it at all times. In New Mexico, a body must be buried at least 50 yards from a water supply (a lake, a stream, etc.), five feet from a property line, and at least six feet underground. 


If a body is discovered to have been left out in the open, it is not only considered a public health hazzard but is also considered a potential homicide pending an autopsy and toxicology report to determine cause of death. The person(s) responsible for the above-ground burial, if identified, can be arrested for unlawful transportation, unlawful care, and either indecent disposition of a body or refusal/neglect to bury the body within a reasonable length of time following death. 


From what I have been told, even the Lakota in South Dakota no longer practice above-ground tree burials and scaffold burials but currently practice Christian-style underground burials in established cemeteries. In addition, I have read that Tibetan Buddhists (who practice jhator, "sky burial") and Zoroastrians (who practice Dakhma-nishini, "funerary tower burial") are currently not allowed to practice their traditional above-ground burials in the U.S.


What states and public policy consider decent burials and what particular individuals, families, or religions consider decent burials are not always in agreement. Again, from what I have read, the assumption in the U.S. is that the proper burial of a body is unfortunately not just the private concern of the deceased individual (i.e., burial according to his or her wishes) or the private concern of the family of the deceased, but is a public concern of society as a whole. 

Flag adamcro-magnon December 5, 2011 4:45 PM EST

Reading casually the literature that I came across in the undertakers as I helped finalize the arrangements for my late aunt, I learned that it is possible to be converted into a diamond.  What a thought!  My remains can, in effect, be so processed that carats come to figure soon than carrots.  Would that grab you? The ones I leave behind can sport me on their appropriate finger.  Presumably an ‘ex’ can be, by force of circumstances and with the grim determination of an aggrieved partner, converted into a dis-engagement ring.  Imagine the chatter, the scintillating, sparkling conversation that cannot but attend such a dis-engagement party!  “Oh my goodness, dear!  What an exquisite ring!  Where did you get it - or rather precisely ‘how’ did you acquire it?”  Into a diamond?  What a terrible and expensive yet sparkling fate!  Not for me!


For me an eco affair.  I arranged that for my dear friend - a lovely woodland area next to The Old Winchester Way in the County of Hampshire, sort of Jane Austen country - a delightful spot.  There it is usually no coffins of hard wood but one made of easy-to-rot-and-decay vegetable material.  My friend, being Islamic by birth, had a shroud.  That is what I shall have, I hope.  The custom in Iran, where the body is buried but a very short distance from the surface soil, is for a close relative to rip one side of the shroud so that just one half of the face is exposed before being covered with earth.  This would not be allowed in a municipal cemetery though where the eco burial is concerned, my friend was buried so deep that that particular custom was difficult to effect but those who managed the burial site were not averse to the custom’s being followed.


Conversion into a source of marketable energy would, I think, be a faith too much for me - perhaps the fate worse than death.


One of my aunts did, to spite her neighbours and put a blight on their property insist on being buried in her own back-garden (a small garden) and have a headstone.  The executors who had the last word ruled it out - the property would not sell and they not be able to enjoy any bequests.  Adjacent properties would likewise be blighted but she had sought out - and was granted by the local authority - permission for such an enterprise.



Adam Cro-Magnon

Flag rangerken December 13, 2011 4:47 PM EST

This thread was moved from the Hot Topics Zone

Post Your Reply
<CTRL+Enter> to submit
Please login to post a reply.
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook