Burial: Rest In Green Peace

Are you environmentally conscious for life? How about in death? That's right. It's not enough that you're made to feel guilty about your SUV--now the tree lovers are taking issue with your burial, too. So-called green cemeteries, hundreds of which exist in Europe and Africa, are catching on in the United States. Marketed as an alternative to burial in traditional wooden caskets (which remain intact for centuries) and cremation (which wastes energy and causes air pollution), these cemeteries have an environmentally correct solution: bodies are buried in biodegradable shrouds like a blanket or cardboard; individual headstones aren't permitted. This month Texas environmentalist and Universal Ethician Church Bishop George Russell is opening the country's third, and largest, natural cemetery on an 81-acre lot on the shores of Lake Livingston in east Texas. "A pickled body in a case" is not only bad for the environment, Russell argues, but it doesn't follow the Biblical concept of "dust to dust."

Don't buy into that? That's OK. You need only believe in the environment to snatch a plot; the cemetery will be available to all faiths and species. (Family pets are allowed.) Fido may be gone, but the planet will not be forgotten.