Worried that embalming fluids or emissions from cremation will pollute the earth after your death? There may be a more eco-friendly albeit somewhat grisly alternative—dissolving the body in lye. The process, which has been used to dispose of animals and lab specimens for many years, is now being considered more seriously for human use. Called alkaline hydrolysis, the method uses a steel cylinder that dissolves the body in lye with 300-degree heat and 60 pounds of pressure per square inch. The result is a sterile, coffee-colored liquid with the consistency of motor oil that can be safely poured down the drain. A small amount of bone residue that can be scattered like cementation ashes is the only solid byproduct.
The idea of being reduced to liquid does seem a bit disturbing to many—as far as BioSafe Engineering, an Indiana company that manufactures the steel cylinders knows, no funeral homes anywhere in world currently offer the service. In fact, a bill in New York to legalize alkaline hydrolysis became dubbed as the "Hannibal Lecter Bill." But one funeral director is hoping to bring this new method of "mortuary science" to the public. Chad Corbin, a funeral director in New Hampshire plans to operate the $300,000 cylinder and is working on a getting the necessary requirements—he plans to charge the same rate as cremation.
At least one lawmaker may consider alkaline hydrosis as the way to go—81 year old State Rep. Barbara French told the AP, "It doesn't bother me any more than being burned up. Cremation, you're burned up. I've thought about it, but I'm dead.
Alkaline hydrolysis is by no means the only option for keeping one's burial an all-green affair.
As part of their "AfterLife Project" (part of the MoMA's fantastic Design and the Elastic Mind exhibit in New York City), James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau of the Royal College of Art designed a microbial fuel cell that uses gastric juices from a decomposing body. The electricity generated from decomposition can be stored in rechargeable batteries, which can then be used to power a "memorial" electric device imbued with the energy of a passed loved one—anything from flashlights to vibrators. The designers say their idea is a "technologically mediated service providing an expression of life after death for those who are spiritually disconnected or demand tangible evidence."
Leaving the realm of the design concept, there are several less drastic ways to keep burials green that are much more practical. While several options reek of the often-profiteering funeral industry, reasonably priced biodegradable coffins, caskets and urns are becoming fairly common. So whether it's far-out, practical or just plain gross, an environmentally friendly burial is quickly becoming a realistic choice.
Alkaline Hydrolysis - Via AP
I find this article very interesting. Anyone know what the carbon cost of human burial is?
You the world is having enviromental problems when people have to make death eco-friendly.
The carbon cost of manufacturing the sodium hydroxide in the first place has not been taken account of here, nor of the cost of heating the treatment vessel for the hydrolysis cycle.
The most environmentally friendly form of disposal would be anaerobic digestion imo anyway :-)
i find the lye one disturbing, its just s little too scientific for me. but, the other ones are nice, especially the pencil one, although its kinda weird, when your you grand kids or great grand kids school supplies, it lets them know your there for them in a test or something. anyways i like it
people should just be put into biodigestors o we can get manure out of em. no need to preserve dead meat
i hella hate kyle. he likes to fuck atheists.
brandon f. is a slave who really needs proactive. his sperm is inside his pimples
3===D O: <---- Brandon F.
if your that imature...then you shouldnt be on this website.. this website is for information and not because your trying to make up for something else..
by the way this is a ood idea... little weird but could help