fb-pixel Skip to main content

How ‘green’ is it?

Tony Rehagen “Dying green” (Ideas, Nov. 24) provides important information about the environmental impact of our final choices. However, it’s confusing when Rehagen describes the negative impacts of cremation as “a significant user of fossil fuels while releasing harmful mercury into the air and water and 174 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year,” but later mentions the “exotic” option of putting cremated remains in a reef formation to rest on the ocean floor. This entails cremation and an artificial reef, requiring at least a quarter of a ton of concrete, this when cement production contributes about 2.4 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions. Importantly, Rehagen makes the case for green burial being an eco-friendly option, one that doesn’t require a cement burial vault or other contaminating outcome.

Marjorie Lee