Australian cemetery to offer carbon-free funerals
Mar 11, 2008
CANBERRA (Reuters) - An Australian cemetery has unveiled plans to take the carbon out of cremations by offering new green funerals to help combat global warming.
On the day Australia's formal ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on Greenhouse emissions comes into force, the Centennial Park cemetery in the South Australian state capital of Adelaide said it had studied the carbon impact of burials and cremations.
While cremations initially produce more carbon emissions than a burial, cemetery chief executive Bryan Elliott said over time, burials ended up producing about 10 percent more greenhouse gas.
"If we plant one tree for every service, either burial or cremation, we will more than offset the carbon emissions," Elliott told Reuters on Tuesday.
The Centennial Park Cemetery carries out more than 900 burials and around 3,300 cremations a year. Elliott said every cremation created around 160 kg (353 pounds) of carbon dioxide, compared to 39 kg of carbon dioxide for each burial.
But when the cost of maintaining grave sites, mostly covered by lawns at Centennial Park, is taken into account, cremations came out 10 percent greener than burials.
"This is because we must look after the gravesite for a number of years by watering and mowing the surrounding lawn area and maintaining the concrete beam on which the headstone is placed," Elliott said.
"Burial is a more labor and resource intensive process, consumes more fuels and produces larger quantities of waste than cremation."
The move was prompted by local calls for natural burials, where a tree is planted over a grave. But those proposals would not work in a major suburban cemetery, where space is limited and graves can be re-used, Elliott said.
In South Australia, graves are leased for only 50 years, and they can then be re-used if relatives do not the renew the lease.
Elliott said the cemetery planned to bear the cost of carbon offsets and would not charge more for funerals as it attempts to cut its greenhouse emissions, blamed for global warming.
Get up, get up, get up, get down, fall over.
I had a theory...that if I posted my source, no one would have anything left to discuss.It was posting your source last time that gave you away.
This time, it might be that you simply posted an article without commenting on it. What were we supposed to discuss?
Or it might be that the site has been down for hours...
If it helps, there is no such thing as a carbon-free burial. Lazy journos. And this sort of offsetting is a poxy commercial 'solution' which allows lazy middle class people to carry on taking long-haul flights, smug in the mistaken belief that they are not harming the planet. I would have thought that would have put you in favour of it.
- Last edited Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:55 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:54 pm
Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
How about we off the top 10 worst carbon offenders each week, bury them however they would have wanted, and call it good?
"that's a smith and wesson, and you've had your six"
I for one think this is a bad idea. I am proud to know that my 18% carbon mass will be used to create fossil fuels for our squirrel earth overlords in about a million years.
I mean, how are the squirrels going to power their giant squirrel hummers without our carbon?