News and Blogs

Open Air Cremation in Colorado

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Crestone, Colorado is home to one of the nation's only open-air cremation providers. Operated by Crestone End-of-Life Project, families are invited to participate in the cremation - positioning the body, preparing kindling for the fire and placing juniper branches on the pyre to add a pleasant smell to the process. This sort of open-air cremation is reminiscent of the ancient funeral rites commonly associated with Vikings. Although it may seem bizarre to many Americans, this method is still practiced among Buddhists and Hindus in other parts of the world.

High Country News has some beautiful photographs of the crematory.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 June 2015 11:50 )

New Vermont Law Allows For The Creation Of "Green" Cemeteries

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Act 24, a new law codifying green cemeteries in Vermont, will pave the way for the creation of such cemeteries in the very eco-minded state.

You can hear VPR's interview with Josh Slocum on the topic here.


Raw Story: Don't let the mortician turn you into a biohazard

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"The typical 10-acre swath of cemetery ground, for example, contains enough coffin wood to construct more than 40 homes, nine hundred-plus tons of casket steel, and another twenty thousand tons of vault concrete. To that add a volume of embalming fluid sufficient to fill a small backyard swimming pool and untold gallons of pesticide and weed killer to keep the graveyard preternaturally green. Like the contents of any landfill, the embalmed body’s toxic cache escapes its host and eventually leaches into the environment, tainting surrounding soil and groundwaters. Cemeteries bear the chemical legacy of their embalmed dead, and well after their graves have been closed."

- Mark Harris in his book Grave Matters

Read the full article here at Raw Story.


NPR's Marketplace talks to FCA on Green Burials

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American Public Media's "Marketplace" on natural burials with a cautionary note from FCA: Beware of attempts to get you to pay a premium for a green burial---you shouldn't have to pay a boutique price for a burial that simpler and uses less product.


Art as grief therapy

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Goodbye Michael, Goodbye Old Friend - Antonia Rolls -

Death can be found in the news on any day, but the following links all follow recent news regarding art relating to personal struggles with death and grief. 

At Penn State University, the work of Jennifer Rodgers is on display. Rodgers paintings of abstract shapes and maps detail her father's illness and death in a hospital. Her story is featured on NPR.

In the UK, artist and death doula Antonia Rolls will exhibit a series of paintings titled "A Graceful Death". Originally inspired by her husband's death from cancer, Rolls' paintings depict people living with a life-threatening illness and in the days and moments approaching death. The UK's KentOnline features info about her upcoming exhibit. Learn more about her work on her website.

In Indonesia, paintings by Myuran Sukumaran have caught the eye of human rights activists opposed to the death penalty. Having learned to paint while in prison, his self portraits illustrate grief, anger and protest of his death sentence by firing squad, for a drug smuggling offense. Sukumaran was executed on April 29, 2015. Read more at the Guardian.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 May 2015 10:46 )

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