I recently took Worthy Conclusions ‘on the road’ – I had a stand at my home town’s One World Market which champions all things ethical, sustainable and local. I wanted to get a feel for how my newly published workbook – ‘Your Life After Your Death –planning for life after you’ would be received and indeed perceived by the general public, all of whom are my target audience.
I can hear you asking “What does Worthy Conclusions have to do with anything either ethical or sustainable?” Well , believe it or not climate change is happening. Maybe we are not going to see drastic changes in our lifetime but our grandchildren and future generations will and I believe that we should all take social responsibility to do what we can to protect our planet for future generations. The majority of us are trying to make a difference now by doing such things as:
• Buying locally produced goods and services
• Reducing car travel
• Reducing our energy consumption
• Reducing food waste
• Recycling / upcycling etc… etc …
But what happens when we pass away? Should we not take a moment to give a thought to what happens to both us and our material possessions, and if we have been conscientious in life about caring for our environment, carry that through to after our death?
Anyone who has had to bury a loved one will know that in the first few days when funeral arrangements are being made unless they have been left with specific instructions from their loved one people do tend to be swayed by what is usually done: “this is our most popular casket” “this type of cut flower lasts longer than those” for example. Then when it comes to clearing the family home if something is not wanted in the worst case scenario it goes to the local tip and landfill.
So what can we do? Think about if you want to be buried or cremated, initially cremation is perhaps more polluting but long-term maintenance of a burial plot can outweighs this however burial does have least impact in terms of pollutants if you opt for no embalming. Do you want cut flowers which will decompose or perhaps it be better to request a tree to be planted in your memory. There are so many ‘greener funeral ’ options out there. Do some research, decide which options sit most comfortably with your ethics and MAKE YOUR WISHES KNOWN.
These days it is highly likely that your off-springs are not interested in keeping the majority of your old furniture. It is estimated that around 10 million items of furniture are thrown away each year in the UK. You could help in a small way (remember every little helps) by requesting that any items not wanted by your family are donated to charity or sent somewhere to be either up-cycled or re-cycled but again MAKE YOUR WISHES KNOWN.
Going back to my opening paragraph and wanting to see how people perceived my offering, it proved to be quite a mixed bag with someone asking if I was selling insurance, one thought I was a medium and told me they really didn’t believe in life after death and a few others thought I was trying to get them to make their will, however the majority of people who engaged and shared their experiences understood and appreciated that the book provides a single place for people to make notes about the small details of their life that their loved ones will need to know when they are no longer around to tell themselves. It was an interesting day, I learned a lot, shared a lot and even sold one or two books!