There are many unique and creative ways to memorialize oneself after death. With a growing trend towards environmental sustainability, many of these options have expanded to create or include more eco-friendly choices. A popular one of these is a tree urn or burial pod. Below is everything you need to know to help turn yourself into a tree after death.
One of the first ways this idea was introduced was through a tree urn. There are many of these urns on the market right now, and the process varies slightly. However, it typically involves combining ashes with seeds or a sapling in a biodegradable container. Then, the urn will be planted, and the tree will start growing once the container decays and incorporates into the soil.
Note: Check you local laws to ensure you are allowed to bury remains on private property or on public land using this urn.
One of the most popular tree urn kits is The Bios Urn.
The Bios Urn is a great option for those that want to give back to the environment after death. The way it works is the urn is designed with two separate capsules. One capsule will contain the seed or seedling of your choice, and the other will contain the ashes of your loved one. The urn is designed to break down in the soil and grow a seed or seedling alongside the ashes.
The instructions are easy to follow, (see Bios Urn instructions here) and the design allows for customization. You can choose any tree seed or seedling you would like to use with it. It will also work for flowers, bushes, and other plants.
In the Bios Urn kit, you will find:
The tree burial pod idea was first introduced a few years ago by Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel. They call the project Capsula Mundi. Their goal is to create a burial pod that will help a tree grow. The main difference between this and a tree urn is that it will not require cremation to do it.
How it will work is that the individual will be placed in the fetal position in a biodegradable burial pod and buried in the ground. A tree will then be planted on top of the burial pod. As the pod and the body break down in the soil, it will provide nutrients to help grow. Essentially, this creates a new type of green burial site, consisting mainly of trees, instead of being covered in grave markers and tombstones like in more traditional cemeteries.
The Italian company is still working on this project and trying to introduce legislation that will allow for this type of burial. For the time being, they are selling mini versions of their capsule design for cremated remains.
If these options do not appeal to you, another way to “become a tree” after death is by having a tree planted in your honour. Some may want to have a more traditional burial, or their family may wish to have the ashes remain in their home. Therefore, planting a tree in a loved one’s honour is an excellent way to get the best of both worlds.
In a similar vein, scattering ashes or burying an urn in a forest is another less direct way to do this. Your ashes may not be directly incorporated into a tree, but they will become incorporated into the plant and wildlife in the area as a whole.