disposition options

Paying attention to all the textures of landscapes in which we live, both physically and mentally/emotionally, allow us to understand our life differently. Below are current disposition options available in the US and the world. Some of these options are in the works, some may not be available in one's current location because individual state laws differ and continue to change. But knowing these options allows us to ponder them, to think of what is possible and then to clearly feel what we want. Knowing what holds meaning and resonance for us can motivate action and effort toward making those desired options available. It might also inspire and birth new options and thinking. We ultimately change and create our world together. So too do we change the face and shapes of living, dying and death together. 

Green Burial

Green burial is swiftly growing around the country as a normalized, meaningful and preferred option for disposition. In the simplest terms, green burial implies that the grave itself is shallower, only about 3 feet, in order to properly assist the natural processes of decomposition.

From Grave Matters, “A Natural Cemetery Preserves a Small Green in Maine”

“The fourteen acres of meadow and pine forest that hug the Penobscot River just south of Bangor, Maine, look as bucolic and unspoiled as they did when a school teacher named Charles Annable bought the land in 1921 and turned it into a natural retreat he called Rainbow's End. 

Decades later, his daughter is making sure it stays that way -- by turning it into a natural cemetery. “

Other Related Links:

Cedar Brook Burial Ground
First green cemetery in Maine.

Alkaline Hydrolysis

From the New York Times article, "An Alternative to Burial and Cremation Gains Popularity"

"It works like this: An alkali, or salt derived from an alkali metal or an alkaline earth metal (usually sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide or a combination of the two), is combined with water in a specially made machine.

About 65 percent of the human body is already water, while another 20 percent or so is protein, including blood, muscle and collagen, which is found in tissue and bone. The alkali breaks down the body’s proteins and fats. The machine produces sterile brown effluent made up of minerals, salts, amino acids, soap and water, as well as weakened bones that can be crushed into an ash, and any metal in the body.

In some places where flameless cremation is available, it has quickly overtaken the alternative. Mr. Bradshaw, who has been offering both services for five years, says that more than two-thirds of families seeking cremation choose the new method when it is offered."

Other Related Links:

"Dissolving the Dead"

Direct Cremation of Maine
Maine company offering Natural Green Cremation options.


Burial at Sea

From the Talk Death article, Burial at Sea: Everything You Need to Know

"Burial at sea refers to the disposal of human remains in the ocean, which is typically done from a ship or boat. This unique form of burial is associated with many cultures, and different traditions throughout time. What all the variations have in common is a connection to the open sea, and a desire to connect those who have been lost to the mysterious and infinite deep."

Maine Burials at Sea www.newenglandburialsatsea.com/maine
This New England company offers affordable, individualized and personal memorial ash scattering services from many locations along the scenic coast of Maine.

Burial at Sea options as it is available by state:

Other Related Links:

Burial at Sea: A Time-Honored Tradition

Burial at Sea
–Naval History and Heritage Command


Recompose www.recompose.life

"Recompose is developing a process that gently converts human remains into soil, so that we can nourish new life after we die." 

Compassionate Composting www.compassionatecomposting.com
Maine company offering large animal composting options as green alternative to burial.

Capsula Mundi Burial Pods

Capsula Mundi www.capsulamundi.it

"Capsula Mundi is a cultural and broad-based project, which envisions a different approach to the way we think about death. It's an egg-shaped pod, an ancient and perfect form, made of biodegradable material, where our departed loved ones are placed for burial. Ashes will be held in small egg-shaped urns while bodies will be laid down in a fetal position in larger pods."

Mushroom Burial Suit

Coeio www.coeio.com

“Could mushrooms be the symbol and tool for a cultural shift in how we think about death and our relationship to the planet?”

Other Related Links:

My Mushroon Burial Suit
–Ted Talk by Jae Rhim Lee

Bio Urns

Bios Urn www.urnabios.com

"World’s first biodegradable urn designed to convert you into a tree after life."

Other Related Links:

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to ... Interactive Biodegradable Funerary Urns?
–NPR, All Tech Considered