We tend to bury our burial wishes because we don't really want to think about death and dying. My husband and I decided quite a while ago to be cremated and our ashes thrown into the wind - from whence we came. Perhaps it's a bit more sustainable than embalming the body in all kinds of chemicals for an open cask viewing, which I personally find kind of creepy, spending all kinds of money on a casket that takes 25 years to rot, and both, body and casket leeching all kinds of yucky chemicals into the soil (and our ground water!). But even the burning is a toxic and energy intensive process.
Did you know that embalmers have to wear full body "armor" while embalming because of the toxic fumes associated with the preservation chemicals? There are more sustainable burial practices than cremation, from the weird (we saw the Jain funeral towers in Bombay from afar many years ago, where the bodies are laid out in the open on the top of the towers and the vultures take care of them) to the simple (wrapping the body in a shroud and burying it without casket and chemicals).
Better yet may be this method. One of my faithful blog readers (thank you, Alice) reminded me of this 2011 TED talk by MIT trained artist Jae Rhim Lee. Lee has created a mycological burial suit embedded with mushroom capsules that assist in the quick decomposition of the body and digestion of toxins, as well as mushroom spores allowing mushrooms to grow and use the body as feeding ground while composting it all completely and sustainably. Cheap and non-toxic! Watch the talk on her website Coeio.
I think I'll change my mind about cremation now that I know about the mushroom burial suit.