Maine is becoming more open to 'greener' end of life choices.
There's a lot of discussion these days in Maine, about different options for our eventual demise. Sadly, the one thing no one has perfected is the ability to stay young forever. And whether we like it or not, we must all accept this fate. However, you have a lot more choices for your end of life than ever before.
Shallow, "green" burials have become a thing in Maine. I've even read articles online about caskets made of mushrooms to aid in the decomposition process, and return the body to the earth that much faster. Another concept gaining momentum at the state level, is the idea of composting your remains when you pass on.
The concept is simple enough. You simply become soil.
In other states, this has already passed. In Maine, we're just beginning the debate at the state level, according to the Press Herald. There are all sorts of ethical and moral implications being addressed. Some worry about public health risks, of which there seem to be none. And of course, some religious organizations feel this doesn't fit with their beliefs.
Other folks see it as an opportunity to return to nature. And the cost is comparable to all the other options currently out there. So it won't necessarily save you any money, but it if there's one thing Mainers can appreciate, it's more options. We love choices. And this is just another in a series of more modern solutions to our eventual end.
How does it work?
It's pretty simple. At a designated site chosen by the state, bodies would be covered in some kind of organic matter, like wood chips or straw, and put in a sealed container. Several weeks later, all organic material has been broken down, and after a curing process, approximately one cubic yard of compost is ready for use.
Obviously, this won't be for everyone. But there are no shortage of folks who see this as an absolutely beautiful way to be interred. To become one with nature, and maybe to family members it would feel like they have a way to stay connected to a loved one who's passed.
The whole concept has a ways to go to become legal, but so far opposition has been minimal. But it's nice to be able to have meaningful ways to honor our families and friends.