By The Hearty Soul
Being buried in a wooden box or shelved in a mausoleum is slowly becoming an outdated concept. These traditional forms of being kept after you pass on creates a barrier between our bodies and nature that many people are finding fault in. As a result, many methods of burial and cremation have been created to increase our connectivity with the earth after we have passed.
Here are some of the most creative ones:
The Poetree is a funeral urn that allows you to grow a tree from the ashes of someone who has passed on. The bottom of the urn is made out of a biodegradable cork material while the top of the urn contains a ceramic ring with the proper engravings. It can be kept indoors until the tree grows big enough so that it must be planted outside.
The process starts off with the family receiving the deceased’s ashes in a special, Poetree urn, and a boxwood tree contained in a biodegradable pot. The family then removes the top of the urn and places the tree (along with the pat) in the ashes. The pot will then degrade into the ashes the tree’s roots will spread throughout the urn. During the initial phases of this, the urn can be kept inside the house.
After an extended amount of time, when the tree has grown large enough, it is then planted outside. The tree does not need to be removed from the container, as the bottom of it degrades into the soil, allowing the roots to extend. The ceramic top with the engravings then remains around the tree, acting as a gravestone along with the tree.
Eternal reefs offer a way for environmental-enthusiasts to contribute to the protection of marine wildlife, even after they pass on. This unique concept takes the cremated remains of an individual and puts them into a cement mixture that is then used to construct an artificial reef. This artificial reef is then placed in a permitted area in the ocean which is selected by family, friends or the deceased themselves.
These reefs can be made using just an individuals ashes, or a combination of family members, spouses, pets or friends. Friends and family members are encouraged to join in on the reef-making process, and can help mix in the cremated remains into the concrete and even write personalized messages in it before it hardens.
Resomation is probably the most environmentally friendly alternative to cremation. It is similar to cremation in that it decomposes the body, however the method through which this occurs is much different.
The body is placed in the Resomation chamber covered in a special wool blanket. Instead of fire, a water and alkali-based method, known as hydrolysis, breaks down the body into a liquid and the bone into ash, which is then given to family members. It is almost the same as conventional cremation, aside from the fact that it does not pollute the environment throughout the process.
The Capsula Mundi project, commonly referred to as burial pod coffins, is similar to the idea of the Poetree, minus the cremation. Instead of being buried in a wooden coffin or cremated, the body of the deceased is placed, in the fetal position, inside a biodegradable capsule large enough to fit a human being.
This capsule is then buried in the ground and a tree is planted on top of it. When the capsule degrades, the deceased’s body provides nutrients for the tree and it will begin to grow on top of it. Trees will then be planted in a “Memorial Forest” that family members and friends will be able to visit. The tree can be chosen by the deceased while they are still living, or by family members.