News Science Actor Luke Perry Was Buried in This Biodegradable Mushroom Suit By Katherine Martinko Senior Writer University of Toronto Katherine Martinko is a writer and expert in sustainable living. She holds a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Toronto. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Katherine Martinko Updated May 29, 2020 ©. Coeio Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices The biomix-infused suit helps break down a body, while neutralizing toxins and boosting plant growth. Actor Luke Perry, who suffered a massive stroke on March 4 and died at age 52, was buried in a mushroom burial suit. The revelation was shared by his daughter Sophie on Instagram over the weekend, who said mushrooms hold an entirely new meaning for her now. "Any explanation I give will not do justice to the genius that is the mushroom burial suit, but it is essentially an eco-friendly burial option via mushrooms... My dad discovered it, and was more excited by this than I have ever seen him. He was buried in this suit, one of his final wishes. They are truly a beautiful thing for this beautiful planet, and I want to share it with all of you." What Does the Suit Do? The suit is made by a company called Coeio, founded by Jae Rhim Lee who came up with the idea while completing her graduate studies at MIT. It is a handcrafted, completely natural and biodegradable outfit that contains a built-in biomix made of mushrooms and other microorganisms. These do three things: (1) aid in decomposition, (2) work to neutralize toxins found in the body, and (3) transfer nutrients to plant life. © Coeio – Company founder Jae Rhim Lee giving a TED talk titled "My Mushroom Suit" in 2011 Mushrooms emit enzymes that break down material and deliver nutrients to plant roots. They remove toxins through a process called mycoremediation. According to the Coeio website, this happens in two ways: "With organic toxins, mushrooms break down molecular bonds, thus neutralizing toxins or breaking the toxins down. In other cases, such as with heavy metals, the mushrooms bind the toxins through a process called chelation and in turn make the toxins innocuous." Mushrooms Instead of Chemicals Human bodies contain high levels of toxins, including flame retardants, pesticides, dry cleaning residues, heavy metals, bisphenol A, etc. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the average individual has 219 chemicals in their body; hence, the need for mushrooms to help break these down and make the surrounding soil cleaner. Coeio's suit eliminates the need for both GHG-emitting cremation and the hazardous formaldehyde that is used to embalm bodies (although burial is recommended within 24 hours unless a body is refrigerated). You can eliminate the casket by being buried in just the suit or adding a green burial shroud. The optimal burial depth for a mushroom suit is only 4 feet. © Coeio – Company founder Jae Rhim Lee demonstrates how little space is taken up when one is buried more simply. It is heartening to see the movement away from traditional burial methods toward greener, more eco-friendly practices. No doubt Perry's endorsement will spur even greater interest. Learn more at Coeio.com.