Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The cost of tradition...

Many ecological problems we struggle with are the result of traditions of human behavior being carried forward into conditions wildly different than when they originated. One such example it the traditional Hindu funeral pyre.
A SWEET whiff of burning flesh hangs over India’s open-air cremation grounds. The reason is that the traditional funeral pyres preferred by Hindus are extremely inefficient. On a windless day disposing of the remains of a fully-grown Hindu can take six hours and 500kg of wood.

With around 8.5m Hindus expiring each year in India, these pyres exact a huge environmental toll. By one estimate, they consume around 50m trees a year, producing 500,000 tonnes of ash and 8m tonnes of carbon dioxide. [More]
As Americans slowly change their funerary choices to include more cremations, unused burial plots are flooding the market.
Think the residential real estate market is tough? Try finding a buyer for your unwanted graves.

Never an easy sell, disposing of extra burial plots has become more difficult. The latest tactic is to offer them online, via at least a half-dozen sites that some marketers tout as a "multiple listing service" for cemetery lots. And, yes, you can even sell them on eBay.

Just don't expect it to happen overnight -- if at all. [More]

Farmers tend to think our business changes slowly.

We don't know from slow.


Anonymous said...

You should be aware that in India there are hundreds of subsects in Hindus community and their custom is to burry the dead except when somebody die of suspecias disease who will be burned. As per estimations only about 10% of the 8+ million die every year may get burned on fire. further more than 50% of urban families prefer to creamate than burrying because of space problem. If all the human beings are burried in the world where on earth the farmers can grow food and live??? Let us be more realistic and philosophical to the whole existance of human beings on earth.

John Phipps said...


One solution used in Europe is to re-use plots. By employing biodegradable caskets (wood) after a few decades burial spaces are recycled. This is how their tiny cemeteries stay inside the enclosed stone walls.

Thanks for reading.