Our conversations in class about the death-care industry were most definitely eye-opening for me. Not only is death a difficult topic to converse on, but we never really consider the environmental impact that we are going to make once we pass. Traditional options such as cremation and burial are increasingly damaging to the environment. One option takes up too much land and releases toxic chemicals into the soil while the other releases large amounts of CO2.
I envision a future where we as individuals make the effort to conduct and engage in conversations about death and after-death options. Along with conversations, we need to collectively raise awareness about options after death and their impacts on the environment. As someone who did not know about natural burial options, I’m certain that many other people are also not aware of this option. Within my vision, I see values of communication and education being emphasized.
There are many possible interventions that can allow us to move towards such a future. One idea I have is that the government requires funeral homes and cremation services to include information on their websites and in their information packages about the environmental impact of their services. This way, when a family is researching their options, they will have the chance to consider the environmental impact of their choices. I also visited the BC’s governments website section on death and noticed no information explicitly discussing the option of natural burials. The revision of this website to include more information about post-death options will help in raising awareness among the general public.