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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Only YOU can compost to save the earth. So what are you waiting for? Oh, I get it.

 Kid Joke: Young boy asks mom, "Didn't you tell me that from dust we are made and to dust
we shall return?"

"Yes dear."
"Well, then, under my bed someone is either coming or going."

Pete Seeger
 Pete Seeger, American folk singer, song writer and social activist, died in 2014 and it could have been him under the bed. Not really, but theoretically. (Stay with me here.)

Of the many grand songs, lyrics and causes he stood for, one of my favorites, with words by Lee Hays,  is this little take on a kid's bed time prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep... " It was the twist he on the remaining words in a composition he called "In Dead Ernest."

Now I lay me down to sleep.
If I should die before I wake
all my bone and sinew take
Put them in the compost pile
To decompose a little while.

Worms, water, sun will have their way.
Returning me to common clay
All that I am will feed the trees
And little fishes in the  seas.

When radishes and corn you munch,
You may be having me for lunch
And then excrete me with a grin
Chortling, "There goes Lee again."

Twill be my happiest destiny
To die and live eternally.

Get the picture?  I kinda' like it. Who wouldn't want to be part of a tree or flowers or food to feed the hungry. Sure, it's a small thing now, but the idea of having your body composted--that is buried just wrapped in a sheet or blanket (or nothing if that's you) has a following that is gaining ground (pun intended.)  And for some societies... and people going back to Adam and Eve, this has God's sanction.

The state of Washington (a top recycling state that fines residents if they don't recycle or if the do it incorrectly) may be the first to make composting human remains  legal, though the practice is done discretely by more and more. So why?

Sorry undertakers, but what happens in a standard burial in a casket encased in a metal box is costly and wasteful--still favorite by most--though cremation is gaining ground, which sounds a little like an oxymoron in this context.  Caveat: Who am I to judge?

In my community, glass is no longer accepted as recyclable, and as you can see, a practical emergency.  Glass has proven more expensive to haul, though we are trying to fix that.Too many of the "haves' don't have a place for all the glass necessities of life.

I have attended a few burials of late where ashes are blended with the soil, scattered in the woods or golf courses or oceans, though that is not true composting. Word has it that Jimmy Hoffa may be the saint of involuntary human composting in the foundation a 
football stadium in New Jersey. 

So remember the motto: Be a Tree. Compost! You may get more than you bargained for. You could
even be a whole library to forever keep people happy!



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