Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CHICAGO PUBLIC RADIO
Death's Footprint
Death's Footprint, a documentary I co-produced with Diane Richard, on the environmental consequences of traditonal funeral and burial practices aired today on Chicago Public Radio's Eight Forty-Eight show.

Here's our introduction to the story: "Nine million people live in the Chicago area. One thing is clear: all of us are going to die. What you may not know is what happens to all those bodies, and the effect they have on the environment. Chicagoland cemeteries take up thousands of acres of open space. Funeral homes use gallons of toxic chemicals a year. And cremation consumes lots of energy and emits toxins into the environment. Today, many Americans are looking for ways that make their deaths greener. But change is coming slowly. The way we practice death has deep cultural and religious traditions."

This program includes interviews with an embalmer, an undertaker, a 34-year-old woman who wants to have her corpse composted by worms, the sounds of a crematorium and an exploration of the newest, greenest body disposal technique: resomation.

Death's Footprint won a national Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) for best documentary. The program also won a best documentary award from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI).