The cost of dying in Aspen
The Moore Open Space needs to be preserved with the least amount of improvements. Many people consider the sage to be sacred and they need to be protected. Paved trails should be banned and no new trails.
I will probably die at home in town, so I expect my body will be shipped to the morgue at Aspen Valley Hospital for an autopsy. Currently my choice for cremation is in writing, but after researching the carbon cost of cremation, I’d rather have a green burial. It would save a lot of money and better align with my values.
We need a new green natural cemetery. One that bans crypts and embalming. Coffins and caskets only with pure natural or cardboard (certainly 100% biodegradable) could augment natural cloth shrouds or body wraps (no dyes, no plastics). There will be many rules to flesh out (no pun intended). Marker stones need to have a maximum size, be horizontal and half buried, with rough edges and no polished surfaces. I’d ban marble for being too contrasty.
Graves should only be placed between the sage, with the only exception being for some small size.
After being examined at AVH it would only be a short 1 mile trip to Moore saving a round trip to Glenwood Springs. This will take a lot of coordination between Pitkin County and AVH; the coroner will need new policies to follow. It might require adding a new position at Open Space, that of grave digger, or you could just add “grave digger” to somebody’s job duties because I don’t see any of my friends or family digging my grave.
I read Washington state just legalized human composting, but I can’t get over the ick factor, too Soylent Green for me. A sky burial would be appropriate if I lived in Tibet, and a sea burial would be OK, but the nearest ocean is far away. Please make it so. Having dead bodies interred there would decrease the likelihood of future development.