No More Coffins, Organic Burial Pods Will Turn Bodies Into Trees

Capsula Mundi is an egg-shaped pod through which a buried corpse or ashes can provide nutrients to a tree planted above it.

Capsula Mundi is an egg-shaped pod through which a buried corpse or ashes can provide nutrients to a tree planted above it.

Your carbon footprint doesn’t end in the grave. While you rest in peace, the wood, the synthetic cushioning and the metals generally used in traditional coffins — as well as the concrete around reinforced graves — continue to litter the earth.”A lot of energy also goes into producing these materials, which are used for a very short time and then buried. They’re not going to break down very fast,” says Jennifer DeBruyen, an Associate Professor of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science at the University of Tennessee.

The Capsula Mundi for ashes.

The Capsula Mundi for ashes. Italian designers Raoul Bretzel and Anna Citelli might have a solution. They call it Capsula Mundi — “world’s capsule” in Latin — and it’s an egg-shaped, organic casket that’s suitable for ashes, too. Once buried, they say, the biodegradable plastic shell breaks down and the remains provide nutrients to a sapling planted right above it. Bretzel and Citelli believe that death is as closely related to consumerism as life. Their goal? To create cemeteries full of trees rather than tombstones, reduce waste, and create new life out of death.

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