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Opening Arguments

Going green

So it turns out that even gambling, prostitution and other vice businesses aren't recession-proof. But you'd think the dying business would be immune to economic vicissitudes. When you gotta go, you gotta, go, right? But a LaPorte factory that made casket parts has closed, putting about 50 people out of work:

The Ampcor factory had been in operation in LaPorte since 1962, but business owner Dave Christian says it had struggled in recent years because the growing number of cremations had reduced demand for its metal casket handles.

This particular story doesn't say so, but cremations have been gaining in popularity across the country during the recession because they are cheaper. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, a funeral package costs around $4,277, whole a casketed service plus cremation is around $4,054. That may not sound like much, but, hey, it's enough for several people to get loaded on after the funeral. And if you go the "direct cremation" route -- where the family just takes control of the ashes and skips the whole casket-with-a-funeral deal -- it's really cheap.

I'm kind of leaning to the cremation option. Not only could I find a more interesting resting place than a small plot of ground (there's a bar I used to like in Michigan City where my ashes scattered on the floor wouldn't even be noticed), I would also have the pleasure of annoying the environmentalists even in death:

There is also a growing body of research that indicates cremation has a significant impact on the environment. Cremations lead to emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, mercury, hydrogen fluoride (HF), hydrogen chloride (HCl), NMVOCs, and other heavy metals, in addition to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP). The United Nations indicates that crematoria contribute 0.2% of the global emission of dioxins and furans.

Hey, up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Leo, doing his part to advance global warming!

I wonder if wood-chippering will be suggested next as the greenest way to go.

Posted in: Hoosier lore