cremation http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9211/all en-US Times Are Tough; Would You Consider A DIY Funeral? http://www.wisebread.com/times-are-tough-would-you-consider-a-diy-funeral <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/times-are-tough-would-you-consider-a-diy-funeral" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/114469689_adc64f3876.jpg" alt="Gravestone" title="Gravestone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="204" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's never pleasant to think about death and funerals, but if there is one certainty in life, it's that we're all going to bite the dust at some point. And just like most things in life, death is an expensive business. But did you know that there are options to the usual funeral...you really can Do It Yourself, if you have the stomach for it.</p> <p>The costs associated with the average funeral vary, with some costing as much as $15-$20,000. But it seems an average most professionals <a href="http://www.yourfuneralguy.com/2009/02/what-is-the-average-cost-of-a-funeral-at-church-your-funeral-guy/">agree on is around $8000</a>. That's not exactly chump change. It breaks down like this:</p> <p><b>Professional and administrative services</b> (embalming, funeral home staff during the visitation, and so on) ... $1,650</p> <p><b>Facilities and equipment</b> (preparation room, visitation room, reception room, chapel) ... $850</p> <p><b>Transportation</b> (transfer from the place of death, funeral limousine, and cars for the family) ... $450</p> <p><b>Merchandise</b> (casket, vault, prayer cards, temporary grave marker) ... $2,515</p> <p><b>Cash disbursements</b> (flowers, cemetery plot, obituary, death certificates, honorariums, headstone) ... $1,828</p> <p><b>Total (not including taxes) ... $7,293</b></p> <p>Even if you get the cheapest casket, forget the flowers and buy a fiberglass headstone, you're still looking at $5000. But there are alternatives. One extreme I read about in England, my home country, was about a guy who requested to be put on his own compost heap when he died. And somehow, his wife managed to get it done. Here in the US I can imagine it would be a lot tougher to go that far. But the DIY funeral is definitely an alternative.</p> <p>An article I found interesting from <a href="http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/314353/diy_funeral_care_for_the_dead_on_your.html?cat=7">Associated Content</a> listed the following steps for your DIY funeral:</p> <p><em><b>1.</b> A medical examiner or funeral must sign the death certificate. Also if the death did not take place in the hospital, a medical examiner or coroner will have to verify death and the cause. </p> <p><b>2.</b> Use dry ice instead of embalming. Embalming isn't a requirement nowadays although the quick deterioration of a body will warrant a quick burial. You can help preserve the body with dry ice. </p> <p><b>3. </b>Make a coffin or buy one from a casket store that will sell to consumers. </p> <p><b>4.</b> You can use the funeral home for a few services such as help with the death certificate. </p> <p><b>5.</b> You will need to secure a burial permit. If you are burying on family land or anywhere other than a cemetery you will have to assure that the corpse will not spread any contagious or communicable diseases. </em></p> <p>To some, the idea of caring for the dead, especially a close friend or relative, is a ghastly and unthinkable idea. But in other cultures, it's not only acceptable...it's the norm. I recently saw a documentary on India which showed people burning their loved ones on the banks of the Ganges and throwing their charred remians into the river. In other cultures, eating the flesh of the cooked dead body is a ritual. By comparison, popping your great uncle into a home-made coffin doesn't seem quite so bad.</p> <p>There is plenty more to learn at <a href="http://www.funerals.org/">funerals.org,</a> and it gives you quite a lot more to thin about. So, one question to leave you with...would you do a DIY funeral? Or is it just too absurd to even consider?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/times-are-tough-would-you-consider-a-diy-funeral">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth">There are Cheaper Ways to Return to a Greener Earth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage">&quot;Can you spare a square?&quot; 5 quick tips on toilet paper usage.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-only-what-you-need">Use only what you need</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs DIY General Tips Green Living coffin cremation death funeral Sat, 20 Jun 2009 06:12:11 +0000 Paul Michael 3294 at http://www.wisebread.com There are Cheaper Ways to Return to a Greener Earth http://www.wisebread.com/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/green burial.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">The web is full of ways to live green, but have you ever thought about being Earth-friendly in your death?<span> </span>While it’s not always pleasant to think about, maybe we should.<span> </span>If you want to be sure that you have a full and ecologically responsible life, maybe “greener” burial products are for you. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">The <a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/">Green Burial Council</a>, founded in 2005, has a unique perspective on death and burial services.<span> </span>In an attempt to reduce the “waste” that is caused by traditional American practices, it has created a host of sustainable deathcare options.<span> </span>Yes, I said “deathcare.”<span> </span>Whether you are looking to be buried or cremated, there are better choices, and many of them are far cheaper than the norm.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Before my look at the Green Burial Council, I was unaware of the dangers that come with the continuation of our current burial practices, which include: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Embalming</strong> – This traditional process uses fluids containing formaldehyde, which has the potential to seep into groundwater.<span> </span>While the EPA acknowledges its role as a possible carcinogen, the World Health Organization goes a step further, labeling it as dangerous. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Vaults</strong> – These large concrete “tombs” make up 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete, which end up below ground.<span> </span>They are not required by law, but are often a basic requirement by traditional home funerals and burials. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Cremation</strong> – While it leaves far less behind to deal with, cremation has started to cause concern with the amount of fossil fuels required to perform the procedure.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">As an increasing number of Baby Boomers make plans for their departure, this has never been a more relevant time for change.<span> </span>With the Council working to <a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/standards.htm">standardized requirements</a> to become a “<a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/conservationburialground.htm">Conservation</a>,” “<a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/naturalburialground.htm">Natural</a>,” or “<a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/hybridburialground.htm">Hybrid</a>” Burial Ground, there may be hope in our lifetime for more responsible practices. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">It may take some adjusting to accept the Best Practices of the GBC, which include home funerals, dry ice preservation for open viewings, and bio-degradable paper shrouds.<span> </span>But if the cost of these uniquely old-fashioned methods is any less than what funeral homes currently require, I think people will become more open to it.<span> </span>For a complete list of green funeral providers, cemeteries, and products near you, see the Council’s <a href="http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/providers.htm">approved list</a>. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><em>Want to see the most fabulously comprehensive piece on green funerals?<span> </span><a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/03/how-to-green-your-funeral.php">This article at TreeHugger</a> has everything you need to know about green funerals, how to make your wishes known, and where to begin the journey for planning out the end of your journey.</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/times-are-tough-would-you-consider-a-diy-funeral">Times Are Tough; Would You Consider A DIY Funeral?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-most-businesses-just-going-green-to-save-some-green">Are Most Businesses Going Green Just to Save Some Green?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-obsession-to-clean-is-making-us-trashy">Our Obsession to Clean is Making Us Trashy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Consumer Affairs Green Living burial cremation environment funeral green Wed, 14 May 2008 03:46:32 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2090 at http://www.wisebread.com