Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Wreath Reef

An interesting tale of a new tradition developing in parts of the USA (http://www.eternalreefs.com/documents/ReefNews_NewYorkTimes.doc). At one time, it was quite common for the ashes of cremated people to be cast on to the waters of the surrounding oceans but there is now a growth of a 'marine undertaker' (is this what Lloyds used to be?) market. These people incorporate the ashes into basket-like, concrete structures (often decorated with shells or the hand prints of relatives) that are then (with a religious ceremony) sunk into localities in the sea to encourage marine life. The structures are certainly not as attractive as coral but organisms would not care about this aspect. It is said that the concrete used is 'marine life friendly' but, if this building material is derived from limestone (the remains of former marine organisms), its production has a substantial carbon footprint. I am uncertain about the balance of energy use and carbon dioxide production involved in this type of exercise but I suppose that it is better than leaving the remains in a pot? As alternatives, you can also have your loved ones converted into rings or fireworks (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/728555/cremation_trend_turn_your_ashes_into.html?), all with their own individual costs to the environment and your pocket.

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Seeing the Changes 1470

Traveller's joy ( Clematis vitalba ) in flower in Loughor.