I love trees. I love they way they dance in the sky and the color of the leaves. I love the budding of their flowers in the spring and the colors they turn in the fall. I love how the snow covers them like frosting in the winter. I love trees and understand why so many of us want to be a tree, or provide nutrients for a tree in death. I would love to be an oak tree or a maple tree. I don’t know which one I prefer. Right now in the Midwest, we struggle with having places to be buried that allows one to become a tree in death. Seems like such a simple thing to do, but it is not so. We struggle with the conventional industry, which has enshrined embalming as the only way civilized people want to care for the dead. We face conventional cemeteries that require us to be buried in a vault and promise us that our bodies will not mingle with the earth. I can’t tell you how many people have come to us telling us how they want to be buried simply beneath a tree.
Cremation is not a green process. One average cremation uses as much energy as a 600-mile trip in a car. That is a lot of fossil fuel. Cremation is not regulated, and so not all crematories have scrubbers on their stacks, so a variety of toxins can be and are released through cremation. If you want to stay green in death, think twice about cremation.
In certain green burial grounds, or if you have established your own family burial ground, you can plant a tree on someone’s grave and in that way become a tree yourself. I suggest planting a tree as a memorial to someone you love. I plant my garden that way, as I stated in another post. I plant trees and shrubs that remind me of people long past. Trees can act that way as well. Our goal is to one day have green cemeteries throughout the Midwest, and then we can all become trees if we want to.