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Green burials: How to combat climate change from the grave

Mallory McDuff is a professor at Warren Wilson College and the author of 'Our Last Best Act'

A lot contributes to climate change.  A Warren Wilson College professor decided to examine one factor that many might find uncomfortable to talk about but is something we will all face - our death.Mallory McDuff is the author of 'Our Last Best Act: Planning For The End Of Our Lives To Protect The People And Places We Love.'  It looks at the growing diversity of end-of-life choices in Western North Carolina, from 'green burials' that use only biodegradable materials, to body donation to body farms such as at Western Carolina University, to 'aquamation', also called water cremation.  All these options reduce the carbon footprint of burials, and in many cases are far cheaper compared to traditional burials.   

McDuff spoke with BPR's Matt Bush as part of a new episode of The Porch which airs Friday morning at 9 on Blue Ridge Public Radio.  Their talk focused on green burial options, the song 'Carry My Love'by Liz Teague that has become the anthem for the book, and how to talk about death and grief when it hangs around all of us, especially now during a pandemic.

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.