You’ve just lost a loved one, and through all of your sorrows are forced to lay them to rest in a field layered with tombstones. There is little doubt that the world we know only has a negative connotation with tombstones, and coming back to visit your loved ones can prove to be nothing short of depressing. However, there is a solution that can honor the loved ones who have passed and create a beautiful place in the Earth for them once they have been buried. Burial pods have been in discussion to place the bodies of the deceased into pods with plant seeds, which will then sprout and become a beautiful tree. Rather than seeing a gloomy headstone, your passed loved ones can once again come back to life in the form of a living, enriching, and beautiful tree.
Cemeteries take up a lot of space, and cremating one person can take as much energy as that person used in a month back when they were alive.
Now, two Italian designers want to transform tombstone-filled cemeteries into memorial forests. According to the Capsula Mundi website, the idea is to place the body in fetal position into an egg-shaped capsule made of starch plastic. Once the pod is buried (like a seed), a tree is planted on top and subsequently cared for by relatives and friends.
“As designers we have asked ourselves what is our role in front of a society distant from nature, satisfied and over loaded with objects,” Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel write. “No designer ever thinks of a coffin but this becomes a way of reflecting on how distant we are from mother nature.”
These burial pods are just an idea for now, since Italian legislation doesn’t allow for these sorts of untraditional burials just yet. Several decomposable coffins and biodegradable urns that allow you to return to the Earth are already available. Depending on the cemetery’s restrictions, you can pick from paper, wicker, or coconut shells with compacted peat and cellulose. You can even be buried wearing fabric embroidered with mushroom spores.
Considering the fact that it may take anywhere from 10 to 40 years for any one tree to grow, and then to be cut down and used to build a coffin that is only visible for a few days, the idea to save a tree and plant another is one that any person could appreciate.
There will be an assortment of different trees clients can pick from. The idea is that someone will pick their favorite tree while they are still alive. “The tree is chosen when the person is alive, relatives and friends look after it when death occurs. A cemetery will no longer be full of tombstones and will become a sacred forest,” it says on their website.
No matter what your faith, or if you believe in an afterlife, these organic burial pods that turn loved ones into trees make the idea of death a little more comforting. In fact, these awesome burial pods make for the perfect burial ritual in so many ways.