As an alternative to traditional funerals, Swedish ecologist Susanne Wiigh-Masak is recommending a greener way to go — freeze-dried cadavers that work well as fertilizer. She recommends plunging dead bodies into liquid nitrogen, blasting them with ultrasound waves, and then turning them into dust with the tap of a hammer. The remains would then be buried in a biodegradable coffin — and the freeze-dried dust would soon provide nutrition for the soil. In contrast, she said a body buried in traditional fashion can take up to 60 years to decompose. Other mortuary practices aren’t especially earth-friendly: Cremation uses fossil fuels that contribute to global warming and embalmed bodies contain formaldehyde, which can pollute groundwater.

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