I’ve got an interesting one for you this week….
Have you thought about what you want to happen to you after you die? Where do you want to go? Do you want to be buried or cremated? How about being turned into a tree??
Yes, a tree! I found these two products that act like urns. They are biodegradable and have the seed of a tree inside (you get to choose the tree). They are buried in the ground and your ashes will then create a CO2 loving tree. Thereby reversing your carbon footprint.
The first is the Bios Urn. It is a biodegradable urn made from coconut shell, compacted peat and cellulose and inside it contains the seed of a tree. Once your remains have been placed into the urn, it can be planted and then the seed germinates and begins to grow. You even have the choice to pick the type of plant you would like to become, depending on what kind of planting space you prefer.
The second is the Spiritree. I like the name and the look of this one better. The Spirit Tree is a "seed-like container designed to function as a biodegradable two-piece cinerary urn that grows into a living memorial in the form of a tree."
There is a great discussion about it here.
It’s a great idea. And I totally bought in to it. I’d love to be a part of a forest cemetery rather than a burial ground full of grey gravestones. It leaves more of a legacy, something physical that my loved ones can come to and feel comfort from as the tree grows bigger and stronger.
But, with everything there are arguments. It’s a great gimmick but aren’t there other, cheaper, more natural ways to do the same thing? And what about all the nasty emissions that are produced from the cremating process that needs to take place before you’re buried? Depending on where you live, and the laws that are in place there, you could simply be wrapped in cotton and buried in a wood box. Yes, it takes up more space than an urn but it allows the worms and other creatures to do their jobs in a more natural way. Of course, you’d have to find somewhere that doesn’t embalm since having the embalming fluid leach into the ground isn’t good either.
After reading some articles and readers comments about the bio urns I was a little disappointed and felt that humans have even messed up the natural cycle of dying. I had never really given it much thought but boy we really don’t seem to get that we’re animals too and naturally decomposing in the ground is ok. We don’t need to be sealed tight in a metal casket, lined with silk and satin, filled with unnatural fluids.
They have a whole section of biodegradable urns. So this concept isn’t new. It’s just a gimmick to add the tree. The Butterworth Company has paper urns that dissolve when placed in the water. These are good for burials at sea. They also have urns made of sand and cornstarch that breakdown once buried in the ground. These are wonderful ideas and there are many styles and options to choose from. I am starting to feel a little more confidence in the human race again.
I’m still undecided on what I’d like to have done. I am an organ donor, which I think is extremely important, but after that I’m just not sure. I’d like it to be as natural as possible. And as easy and comfortable as possible for my family. Being planted with a tree seed would be ideal. I will probably look into that option and other natural options further. As great as these bio urns are, I think there must still be other ways to have a “green” ending. And at the very least it has started me thinking about what I’d like.
What do you think? There are so many different view points on this. How do you want your body “taken care of” after you die?
And one more question that's been nagging me...
How do your loved ones know which tree you are? I guess that must be up to the cemetery or where every you end up being planted.
I'd love to hear your point of view on this. Let me know in the comments below!