Cemeteries are becoming more and more crowded by the day, and soon, there will be no room to house any more loved ones. We just don’t have the space. But people around the world have come up with a very clean, environmentally friendly way of burying loved ones.
First is the Bios Urn, an invention from Barcelona, Catalonia. It is a biodegradable urn for cremated loved ones. The ashes are put on the bottom of the urn, and on the top, is a seed that grows into a tree. The roots of the seed feed off the ashes of the loved one to grow.
Similar in design and concept to the Bios Urn is the Poetree, which puts the ashes of the deceased in a normal urn with the top uncovered so the tree can grow.
Both of these environmentally beneficial ways of burial are only for people who are cremated. But now, there is a new invention on the way. Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel, two Italian designers, are pioneering the first environmentally friendly burial that uses the entire body of the deceased.
Their creation is called Capsula Mundi and requires the body in its most natural form, before any formaldehyde or other chemicals. This makes sure the body will decompose faster to give nutrients to the sapling.
The body is put in an egg-shaped pod in the fetal position, and it is buried in the soil with a tree seed on top. Once the seed grows roots, the roots will infiltrate the pod and use the decomposing body for nutrients. From this pod, a beautiful tree will grow. The website for Capsula Mundi states that the person chooses between a plethora of different tree seeds when they are still alive, and friends and family look after the tree after the person passes away.
Citelli and Bretzel say on their website that “a cemetery will no longer be full of tombstones and will become a sacred forest.”
Now, this can be seen as a violation of the body of the person who is deceased, but some people see the tree as a living representation of their loved one.
I know I’m someone who puts sentimental value into inanimate objects, so this tree pod could actually be helpful. Instead of seeing your family member as a tombstone, you can see them as a blossoming tree. It just strengthens the belief that people can be reincarnated as different living things. Hopefully someday, we can see things like Capsula Mundi or Bios Urn in the United States because they not only help the environment, but they also give the mourning family a sense of life again.