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A Natural Death

April 17, 2018 | Mathew McCarthy

Susan Koswan doesn’t expect her death to come any time soon, but when it does, she wants to be buried near a tree. And, in a way, to come back as one.

“My interest is to compost dead people and turn them into trees,” says the Kitchener environmentalist.

The idea had been with her for a while when her parents died, and after her mother was cremated and her father was buried, the longtime environmental activist wanted to find alternatives that didn’t include the use of fossil fuels during cremation and embalming chemicals in burial.



Looking at More Environmentally Responsible Burial Options

February 8, 2018 | Carrie Debrone

Environmentalists and pragmatists have long worried about what the usual methods of burying our loved ones are doing to our earth, but a local environmentalist and a funeral director think they may have come up with an earth-friendly option.

Thinking outside of the casket, the founders of the Good Green Death Project have introduced the idea that human remains could be respectfully composted.

The chemicals used to embalm bodies, such as formaldehyde, are toxic to embalmers and interfere with the body’s natural decomposition process. The glues, paints and resins in caskets are also often toxic to the earth. Traditional burial also takes up a lot of land.


Green Burials Cheaper and Legal, says Funeral Director

February 10, 2018 | Carmen Ponciano

More people are looking at ways to minimize their carbon footprint — even in the afterlife — by looking to the growing trend of “green burials” as an alternative to current burial practices.

“Conventional burials and cremation practices carry an environmental impact that some people wish to avoid,” Ellen Newman told Craig Norris, host of CBC Radio’s The Morning Edition.

She is a licensed funeral director specializing in green burials. She also helped start the Good Green Death Project, a community group that advocates for greener burials.



Good Green Death Project Introduces the Idea of Composting Human Remains

November 2, 2017 | Joy Struthers

People who want to give their remains back to the earth may have a new option.

Local environmentalist Susan Koswan and creative funeral director Ellen Newman, founders of the Good Green Death Project, said they have a better way.

“Everyone wants to become a tree, but what people are unaware of is these options are unavailable,” said Newman.

Koswan said in trying to find greener ways to care for the dead, she realized composting should be the new method used.