Recycle yourself

Green burials are on the rise

What’s left to be done after a life spent trying to minimize one’s carbon footprint, diligently separating recyclables and respecting the planet? Recycle yourself! In the last decade there has been a movement toward “green burials” to ensure our bodies efficiently—and quite literally—return to the earth. Rather than being pumped full of toxic embalming chemicals, sealed in a flashy coffin and placed under a monument guaranteed to last centuries, more people are choosing to be wrapped in biodegradable shrouds and planted in natural landscapes devoid of markers. Nonprofit organization The Green Burial Council runs a website at that answers many questions and touts the value of minimizing the environmental impact of one’s last act. It provides links to funeral services, cemeteries and products that meet its standards, with several providers currently operating in California (the nearest is in Sacramento).