by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC
The greening of funerals and cemetaries has been another step towards sustainable practice and perspective. It’s happening not just out of logic and necessity, but has also moved us along a path where we can be willing to ask questions about even long-standing tradition to meet the needs of our time on this planet. It’s been a slow and somewhat steady journey – one which is happily gaining momentum, integrating old meaning with new traditions.
In fact, if we’re willing to open both our hearts and minds, we have endless possibility on our side in the fight against climate change. A town of 124,000 people in Spain has done just that. A plan 3 years in the making overcame initial resistance in Santa Coloma, a densly populated area near Barcelona.
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, 462 solar panels mounted atop masoleums in the town’s cemetary, are giving energy to the area in the amount of what would be yearly use by 60 homes. “The best tribute we can pay to our ancestors, whatever your religion may be, is to generate clean energy for new generations. That is our leitmotif,” said Esteve Serret, director Conste-Live Energy, a Spanish company that runs the cemetery in Santa Coloma and also works in renewable energy.
I can’t think of a better way to keep our past and present connected.