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Greener Postures

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Illustration by Kagan McLeod  

12. RECYCLED COFFIN
Each year, 2.4 million Americans die …
Oh, my God! Of what?
Of everything. And then we bury them in more than 30 million board feet of wood, including tropical hardwoods and toxic-laced particle board.
So what do you want me to do?
Choose an elegant, papier-mâché pod made of 100% recycled newsprint and nontoxic glue, covered with gold leaf or handmade paper. Have it lined with feathers.
I’m ticklish. Besides, wouldn’t a shroud be simpler? No state law requires a box, or even a pod.
Do you want the worms going in quite that quickly?
But what about the 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid we bury each year—a potential carcinogen that can seep into groundwater?
To avoid that, you’ll need to find a chemical-free “memorial nature park.” Contact the Green Burial Council or the North American Woodland Burial Society.
Don’t rush me.

VERDICT: It’s your last judgment. Make it yourself.


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