A Green Death — Part II

A Green Death Part I, discusses some of the environmental impacts caused by traditional burial techniques. But there are more ingenious and environmentally-friendly ways we can limit our carbon footprint.

-Written for 1 Million Women-

THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL

New Scientist

Introducing the Infinity Burial Suit, aka the Mushroom Death Suit! This one is fascinating to say the least. The brainchild of designers Jae Rhim Lee and Mike Ma, this invention is a body suit worn after death, cleansing the body of toxins before returning it to nature.

They Ain’t Just Tryin’ To Be Fun-gi

Mushrooms aren’t called magic for nothing — not only can they make Alice from Wonderland grow and shrink in size but they’re also known to aid oil waste clean-up and clean toxic environments — such as our bodies.

Static Flickr

The Suit is embroidered with threads infused with mushroom spores. After death, the mushrooms consume both the body and its toxins, which speeds up decomposition, neutralises toxins and return nutrient delivery to plants.

In short, the suit eats you up, transforming our bodies into vital nutrients leaving behind only a wonderfully clean eco-compost to enrich the earth and foster new life.

LIFE AFTER DEATH

Turns out there is such thing as life after death, but not as we know it.

The Bios Urn, created by Spanish designers, estudimonline, offers a sustainable and eco-friendly approach to an inevitable phase of human life. It promotes a different form of life through nature — a tree seed to grow in the name of your loved one, housed in a 100% biodegradable urn. It is nothing short of a simplistically beautiful concept brought to life.

With the ability to choose a tree seed of your choice, or 6 predetermined options (pine, ginko, maple, oak, ash, beech), the prepared soil allows a perfect water flow while an expansion disc increases to mix the ashes.

Bored Panda

The urn is then buried and begins biodegradation when the roots are strong enough to come into contact with the ashes.

Bored Panda

Pitfalls? You still need to be cremated, which as we know from Green Death Part I, has great environmental impacts.

POD LIFE

Capsula Mundi

The Capsula Mundi, is an Italian design concept similar to the Bios Urn. It bypasses the cremation process (ashes however, can still be used in a smaller capsula) with the foetal-laid body nested in a biodegradable egg shaped pod, thus replacing coffins. A chosen tree is then planted on top of the pod, serving not only as a memorial, but a memory forest for our planet.

DEATH DEFYING ACT

The Urban Death Project is a compost based renewal system where bodies are laid into a mixture of woodchips and sawdust. Over time, the body decomposes, transforming into nutrient-rich compost which will be used in part by loved ones, and also city parks.

Check out 1 Million Women’s previous article written on this amazing concept.

GO GREEN

A green burial is one that further legitimises environmental and societal aims such as protecting worker health, reducing carbon emissions, conserving natural resources and preserving habitat.

If none of these options above are for you, you can still try and go as green as possible:

- Bypass embalming

- Choose a biodegradable casket (e.g. wicker, recycled cardboard) a or burial shroud of organic material (e.g. cotton, silk)

- Offset your burial’s carbon footprint by making a contribution to a carbon fund, such as www.carbonfund.org

- Purchase a biodegradable urn made from cardboard, wicker or un-lacquered wood

- Donate your organs

- Recycle medical parts such as pacemakers, medical implants, prosthetic limbs

- Order organic only flowers

“Death is the only pure, beautiful conclusion of a great passion.” — David Herbert Lawrence.