This was taken from an obituary
site. I post it to get more people react if they like this idea...
When it comes to funeral arrangements, a Swedish biologist would like you to think outside the pine box.
She's Susanne Wiigh-Masak, 49, and she has patented a process " U.S. Pat. No. 4,067,091 " that freeze-dries a human body and reduces it to granules just like instant coffee, but pinkish beige in color.
Her method, which she calls Promession, is the flip side of cremation. Why, she asks, reduce the body to sterile ash, or seal it away in a steel casket, when it can be transformed into life-giving nutrients for the soil?
The first Promession facility is scheduled to open next year in Jonkoping, Sweden, as an environmentally friendly option to cremation, which releases a number of pollutants up smoke stacks: nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride and traces of mercury from dental fillings.
Wiigh-Masak's process dips the dearly departed into liquid nitrogen and freezes the body at minus 321 degrees. Vibrations from an ultrasound machine reduce the brittle body in 60 seconds to a coarse powder, which is then run through a vacuum chamber to remove water. A metal extractor separates out surgical parts, dental fillings, and other medical devices.
What's left is about 60 pounds of dry, odorless organic matter, said Wiigh-Masak, who has experimented with pigs and cattle. The process will cost about the same as a cremation, which is about one-fifth the $6,000 tab of an average funeral. And no formaldehyde from embalming fluid will leach into the groundwater.
The remains can be placed in a biodegradable container made of compressed starch, buried in a shallow grave, and topped with a sapling or a bush. In less than a year, it all turns into living soil,
feeding the tree or roses blooming overhead.
Wiigh-Masak envisions memorial parks tended by professional gardeners. I'd like to come back as a rhododendron, a Cunningham white," she said from her home, near Gothenburg. "I have several in the garden myself. It's very lovely. It's always great to imagine what you'll be when you grow up."
Bill McGuinness, manager of the McGuinness Funeral Home in Woodbury, N.J., said the process sounded like an appealing option. "People have a mind-set of either burial or cremation. This would add a third dimension to the equation," he said. "If there's a demand, we'll offer it."
Wiigh-Masak conceived Promession as an ecologically friendly way of dealing with death. Americans have already shown a growing interest in green burials. About a half-dozen green cemeteries have sprung up across the nation since the first opened in 1996 in South Carolina, said Joshua Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance.
Wiigh-Masak said she hoped that as interest in green burials grew, so might interest in Promession. She will visit the United States this summer to discuss the process with officials in Austin, Texas.
Her idea has attracted attention in Britain, where 247 publicly funded crematoriums face strict new emissions standards to reduce the chemicals they release.
View the rest of the article with pictures here: Promession promises green future