Apologies Ahead of Time
I had promised a two part series on green dispositions of questionable value. It looks like it will be in at least 3 parts, owing mostly to my excursions into (among other things) the energetics and process of industrial alkali production, mycorrhizal symbiosis and the science of forensic taphonomy particularly as it applies to adipocere formation. Riveting stuff. Perfect fodder for a lighthearted, relatively nontechnical and breezy exposition of degrading human remains. I promise.
Mushroom Suits, Burial Pods and Other Thoughtful but Ultimately Useless Green Burial Innovations, Part 1
A few years ago, when Ecopod caskets—made with feathers and recycled paper—were making news, I had a call from a writer for National Geographic wanting to know if we using any innovations her readers might find interesting. I said we were using caskets made with locally sourced recycled wood, shrouds out of organic cotton, and were hand digging graves. We used locally sourced native plants to re-vegetate the grave, including rare plants, one Federally Endangered. She said “Well, actually, I was looking for something more exciting like those Ecopods.” The fact that Ecopods were manufactured in the UK , shipped here (presumably by specially trained flocks of butterflies to avoid the carbon footprint) and cost $3,000 did not seem to register.
Dr. Billy Campbell is the co-founder of Ramsey Creek Preserve, with his wife, Kimberley. His informed perspective is deeply valued in the conservation burial community.