Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Going out with a ... freeze

Discoblog over at DISCOVER learned me something new today:  "cremation, which uses the same amount of energy as driving almost 5,000 miles, releases mercury into the atmosphere."  

What a terrible thing to do to the environment!  I always thought that, aside from donating your body to science, cremation was the most cost-effective and ecologically friendly way to go (avoiding wood and metal coffins, large tracts of land, etc.).  Well apparently there's a more environmentally friendly way to depart this mortal coil.

In short, a company called Promessa will freeze your body with liquid nitrogen (using no nasty embalming fluids) to the point that your frozen self becomes incredibly brittle.  Then a sonicator is used to essentially vibrate the frozen stuff into a fine powder before evaporating the water in the dust and planting your remains back into the ground.  The biggest environmental benefits appear to be no embalming fluid contamination, no inorganic burying material, and less space taken up.  Here's a depiction from Promessa's website of the freezing process:

Let this be my living will: if I die and my body cannot be donated to science, I want to be frozen and shattered into billions of tiny dust particles just like in Terminator 2.  

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