I’m reading a midlife memoir written by musician Ben Folds called A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons. I love his explanation of the title that is about an actual dream he had when he was little, wherein he was catching lightning bugs in a jar and showing them to others. In the dream, he was the only one who could see them to catch them. He felt that the dream was a pretty accurate depiction of his life as an artist. Showing others what he finds luminous.

That’s how I feel about this blog. It’s about the illuminating ideas that have fluttered by me in the month that precedes my sitting down with my laptop to write.

In last month’s blog post Rethinking Waste, I asked if any of the readers had encountered any other businesses that practiced extender user responsibility. Reader Christine Sorich, owner of tinyshop in Chicago, let us know that her new business does! It’s a shop where you can buy exclusively organic dry goods and ethical home and hygiene products. She packs them up in jars that have a deposit and come back to the shop for sanitizing and reusing! For right now, you order online and she’s popping up in different places for pickups like Daisies Market in Logan Square, but there are plans to have a brick-and-mortar store in Fulton Market sometime in the near future. I recommend signing up for her newsletter to get all of the news. It’s pretty easy to catch an idea that lands in your inbox.

I don’t know if you can tell how much fun I have writing this from your side of the page, but when I come up with an amusing segue, it makes me very, very happy.

Cradle to Grave

Cradle to Grave is another way of describing a linear economy. Linear and circular economies are opposites. The linear economy has gotten us into the trouble we’re in, for we have too many products that cannot be easily disposed of. I know I said that I’d write about circular economies this month, but then this happened:

Earlier this week I heard a fascinating program on NPR called 1A with this topic: Natural Causes: Why Some Are Choosing An Eco-Friendly End Of Life. Spoiler alert: There’s a funeral home named Recompose in the state of Washington that has developed a way to compost human remains! The process that they are calling natural organic reduction has a smaller carbon footprint compared to both embalming, which uses toxic chemicals, and cremation which emits carbon dioxide and other pollutants. It’s also slightly less expensive than the average burial. I found an article on Gizmodo about the company if you prefer reading to listening.

Green Death Movement

Composting is not the only green burial option. You might find the Green Burial Council to be a helpful resource in finding alternatives.

I remember hearing a joke once about dying being the best way to lower your carbon footprint.

You may be reading this in April, the month in which Earth Day is celebrated. It’s a natural time of year to make personal changes to benefit the Earth. How about exploring some of these green death options to see if one of them feels right for you?

Author Details
Zero Waste Consultant | Collective Resource, Inc.

Mary Beth strongly believes that, “It’s always better to be doing something rather than nothing.” If you’re thinking of composting at home, she can help you work out what your particular “something” can be.

She’s confident a solution can be tailored to fit anyone’s needs and ambitions. “Anyone who eats can be a CRI customer, whether you are an individual or a large organization. I want you to understand the advantages of composting, and I can show you how CRI can make it easy.” Mary Beth has successfully designed waste diversion strategies for individuals, schools, houses of worship and other communities. She’s received the governor’s Environmental Hero award for her work at her daughter’s school. Whether you’re starting with a backyard bin, a kitchen bucket, a worm farm, or large-scale commercial collection, Mary Beth can be your good-natured guide.