The lives of humans leave indelible marks on the environments they choose to call home. But you might be surprised at how much environmental damage a person can do after they’re dead.
For 48.7 percent of the about 2.6 million who died in the U.S. in 2013 alone, here’s how the average death went down: The person who passed away passed into the hands of a mortician at one of about 19,000 funeral homes. Their body was washed, disinfected, massaged and posed, and embalming fluid was pumped into their veins. They were gussied up with makeup, clothing and hair products and placed in a metal casket.