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The DIY Funeral: A Cheaper Way to 'Go'

April 24th, 2009

“A do-it-yourself home funeral can be cheaper, greener, creepy and a bureaucratic hassle — and, some say, a more meaningful ritual for the living,” quotes the NY Times.

With conventional funerals costing on average $6,500, the American public is beginning to rebel and develop their own alternatives to saying goodbye to their passed loved ones. Some have decided to build their own caskets using plywood and deck screws purchased from Home Depot. The total cost? $90.98.

There are websites such as http://naturalburial.coop/ that offer environmentally sustainable alternatives as well. They don’t use chemical preservatives and bodies are buried in biodegradable caskets or simple shrouds. Natural markers that don’t intrude with the landscape, such as plants, trees, flowers, shrubs are planted which help form a natural wildlife preserve and the sites are protected from any future development.

A comment left by a reader of the NY Times article quoted a song by Lucinda Williams, which best describes this latest DIY revolution. It reads:

“Don’t buy a fancy funeral.
It’s not worth it in the end.
Goodbyes can still be beautiful
Without all the money that you’ll spend.
Because no amount of riches
Can bring back what you’ve lost.”

In these tough economic times, it seems even dying has gotten cheaper.

Posted Under: Innovation & Technology
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