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What if instead of cemeteries we had memory forests? Sounds beautiful right? An eco-friendly burial option can give us a “second life” through nature and be a living memorial for loved ones. There are a few options available for natural burial already, and we’re sure more green burial options will sprout up in the coming years.
- What Are Green Burials?
- Bios Urn Reviews
- Capsula Mundi Reviews
- Eternal Reefs Reviews
- 55.3 Million Trees Planted Each Year
Green burial, also known as natural burial, is a way to honor the dead with minimal environmental impact. It aids with conserving our natural resources and reduces our carbon emissions. It helps the habitat thrive and uses biodegradable materials.
Green Burial Council Certified
For a cemetery to be GBC certified it requires its operators to commit to a certain standard for green funerals. It prevents future owners from going against these promises and standards. This helps the ecosystem continue to grow.
The Bios Urn is a 100% biodegradeble urn on Amazon which turns human or pet ashes into a tree. What kind of tree? That’s one of the cool parts, you get to pick the tree you want to be! The current options are pine, ginkgo, maple, ash and beech.
How does it work? Place the ashes in the tree urn which has a soil mix above it. The seed is in the soil mixture and the tree begins growing slowly and uses the ashes as nourishment. There is no expiration date so you can purchase these at any time and have on hand for your loved ones when you pass.
You can also use the urn for ashes you already have at home. Using the Bios Urn is a nice way for your family to spend time after your death. They can share in the experience of burying your ashes and after some time a sprout will appear. They’ll know that you’re there bringing life to a tree. In 10, 20 or 30+ years, younger generations can visit the tree and know that you helped that tree thrive.
Video: Bio Urn Overview
Watch this minute and a half video that shows the Bio Urn in more detail.
The previous setup for Capsula Mundi was that the deceased’s body was placed inside the capsule in a fetal position. This looks like it may still be an option in the future, but we don’t see it available on the website currently. Instead, you can purchase an urn where the deceased’s ashes are placed and the remains provide nutrients for a tree.
This isn’t an all in one system like the Bios Urn. You must purchase a tree separately, then bury the capsule with the tree buried on top of it. The roots of the tree grow downwards using the pod and its contents as nutrients to thrive.
You can choose the tree you’d like to become, the only limitations are the local conditions and the type of species allowed due to climate, location and soil type. This project started in Italy and is available globally. The trees must be planted in a sacred forest so you don’t have the ability to plant it anywhere you want like you can with the Bios Urn.
- $465 for white finish
- $510 for sand finish
Eternal Reefs are reefs made from environmentally safe concrete combined with your loved one’s remains molded into an artificial reef formation. The Eternal Reefs are placed in the ocean in a permitted location chosen by the individual, family member or friend. Eternal Reefs are typically done months or even years after a person has died so it’s not typically in the beginning of the grieving process.
Multiple people or pets can be in the same reef so you can keep a married couple together if you’d like. Each reef weighs more than 650 pounds so it stays put in the ocean and helps species and the ecosystem thrive. These are great ways to memorialize loved ones who had a strong connection to the ocean.
The website states, An Eternal Reef combines a cremation urn, ash scattering, and burial at sea into one meaningful, permanent environmental tribute to life. This is a perfect description of this beautiful way to contribute to the environment afterlife.
- $2,995.00 – $7,495.00
Societies have different burial traditions, but imagine if a portion of us switched to green funerals. We could help the Earth grow after we have died. It’s truly amazing. To be able to give back after death is an amazing way to honor our lives. Whether we become a tree or a reef or a new invention down the road, we can help our planet thrive.
Learn more how to care for loved ones in our family articles.
What kind of tree would you want to become?