View Full Version : India - Cremated leaves ashes,carbon footprint

04-05-2009, 04:53 PM
Kanpur: Even the dead are adding big time to the carbon footprint.
And the preference of Indian Hindus for conventional cremation in a country of 1.1 billion is only exacerbating the global problem.

If you want to burn a body completely, it will 400-500kg of wood, says Kalu Chaudhary, a body-burner at the Harishchandra ghat in Varanasi.

If you do the math, that means about 50-60 million trees, covering 1,500-2,000 sq. km of forest land, are cut every year to burn the dead in India, says Anshul Garg, director of Mokshda, a New Delhi-based non-governmental organization (NGO) that is developing a technology to make cremations more environment- friendly.
“The ritual produces half a million tonnes of ash and also releases 8 million tonnes (mt) of greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide,” he adds.
Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is considered to be the single most important cause of rise in global temperatures.

Mokshda derives the numbers from UN estimates that 10 million people die in India every year and about 84% of India’s population being Hindu, most of them are cremated.


04-06-2009, 02:30 PM
India could go back to polygamy and suttee, and at least limit the amount of wood used by having one cremation per family at a time.