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5 Post-Life Hacks: Green Burial Alternatives

5 Post-Life Hacks: Green Burial Alternatives

We all love life. In fact, for most readers out there, one of the great joys in life is to be found in the way we’re constantly coming up with ways to win at it better. Life hacks we like to call them. They’re so good that there is even a highly popular website dedicated solely to them…

With that said, i’m sure that many of you Life Hack devotees will be keen to learn more about how you can continue to hack life even when it’s over. The end of it all doesn’t have to be a time full of sorrow and grief. It can and should also be a celebration of who we were and a chance for us to put a big smile back on the faces of the people who loved us most. One last great life-hack. A post-life hack, whatever. The point is, you’ll still be winning.

These five alternative ways to go out in style should certainly get you rethinking about whether you might ultimately also fancy an ending a little bit different to the more traditional methods.

1. Italy: Sepoltura Albero

Sepoltura Albero means tree burial in Italian. One particular project that came to widespread media attention recently is called Capsula Mundi. This was developed by the Italian designers Raoul Bretzel and Anna Citelli. According to the idea behind their concept, the client simply chooses their favourite tree, and the body is then encapsulated in a big egg placed beneath the seed or sapling.

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A traditional burial often requires a coffin. Coffins are made out of wood and the forests that are chopped down to make them are pretty useful for our planet. This facts means that eco-friendly burials have already become popular and this project simply takes that to the next level. And it is only a project at this stage. In fact it is an art exhibition at the moment, but the people behind it believe it really could be a legitimate post-life hack of the future.

The irony in this particular example is that this post-life hack would actually be illegal under Italian law.

2. Sweden: Grow Your Own Garden, Literally

A Swedish company called Promessa has come up with a system to provide another eco-friendly burial service, but this is much more than a just a concept. The people behind this project are deadly serious about its potential as a post-life hack.

Their machine cools the body to -18°C, and then uses liquid Nitrogen to turn this into a deep-freeze of around -196°C. A little bit of gentle vibration later and you’re all set. The resulting powder is buried underground and in 6 months time your loved ones will be left with fertile soil for growing some beautiful flowers or great big trees.

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3. The Ocean: One Last Dip

Burial at sea is already one of the most commonly popular methods for those people who are choosing alternative final arrangements. With the scattering ashes at sea log having been a favourite for those people who have lived their lives along the coast.

It is normally just the ashes which are scattered at sea, but it is also possible for a full sea burial to performed. You just need to have all the correct paperwork in place for this to be realised.

This exit has become so popular in recent years that there are companies offering complete cruises based around the final ceremonial act.

4. Switzerland: Diamonds Are Forever

A Swiss company is now offering a service that turns your beloved’s ashes into sparkling diamonds. These very unique diamonds are created by extracting the carbon from the ashes and then compressing the carbon at a temperature of 2,500 °C (4,500 °F). Basically recreating a similar environment to that in which natural diamonds are brought into existence by nature.

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It is not actually all that uncommon for people to wear ashes encased within jewellery items. This innovative and unique service just upgrades that method, with the associated costs that you would expect.

 5. Space: The Ultimate Post-Life Hack

Any big Star Trek fans will already be familiar with this method as it was the one chosen by Gene Roddenberry after he had faced the final frontier.

The ashes are sealed into a special kind of spaceship before being launched beyond the atmosphere. The orbit of this spacecraft are carefully studied so that the cremated remains do not contribute to any space debris. The actual destinations on offer are pretty awesome, with your available choices being either Earth’s orbit, the moon’s orbit, or all the way outside of our solar system.

In Earth orbit missions, the spaceship which carries you re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere and the ashes are burned up completely on return.

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Anybody hoping to sign-off with this ultimate post-life hack should know that it does not come cheaply. Just 2 grams blasted into deep space will cost you around $20,000.

Featured photo credit: JuergenPM via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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