Live green, die green, leave a green corpse

copyright the Chronicle November 1, 2017

by Elizabeth Trail

 

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — To an ecologist, death isn’t the end, Carl Anderson says. It’s really more like the middle.

Each of our bodies, the biologist and green burial advocate says, is rich with the building blocks for new life. When we decompose in good soil, the nutrients become part of an elegant cycle that has been going on for billions of years.

It’s a process that modern American funeral practices — embalming, vaults, cremation, metal caskets, and the like — do everything possible to interrupt, or at least to put off as long as possible.

The green burial movement is out to restore humans to their rightful place in the nitrogen cycle.

And in the process, it hopes to bring death and death rituals back into homes and family life, just as they have been for most of human history. And still are in most of the world.

Mr. Anderson is a co-sponsor of Act 24, the 2015 Vermont green burial law.

On Saturday afternoon, Mr. Anderson and Act 24’s other sponsor, Michelle Acciavatti, came to Craftsbury to talk about green burial.

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