Egg-Shaped Burial Pods Feed the Trees and Turn Cemeteries Into Forests

Young tree growing with larger trees in the background

Donald Iain Smith / Getty Images

In another twist on green funerals and eco-friendly burials, two Italian designers envision a new way of paying it forward, even after death.

In the attempt to make cemeteries, funerals, and burials greener, many different ideas have been put forth over the last couple of decades, including one which can turn your loved ones into compost, but this concept goes a step further and envisions planting "sacred forests" with the bodies of the deceased serving as fertilizer.

The Capsula Mundi concept, from designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel, uses an egg-shaped burial pod made from biodegradable starch plastic as the coffin, in which the body is placed in a fetal position and buried under the ground. A tree (or tree seed) is then planted over the top of the pod, which will use the nutrients from the decomposing body as fertilizer for its growth.

Although the Capsula Mundi is still a design concept, the designers hope that in the future, this type of burial will be allowed and "memory parks" full of trees will be planted. [UPDATE: The Capsula Mundi burial urn is now available for purchase.] Instead of cemeteries full of headstones, the trees would serve as living memorials to the deceased.

"Capsula Mundi saves the life of a tree and proposes to plant one more. By planting different kinds of trees next to each other it creates a forest. A place where children will be able to learn all about trees. It’s also a place for a beautiful walk and a reminder of our loved ones." - Capsula Mundi

I like this concept, but I do have to wonder how well a tree can utilize the nutrients from a human body decomposing beneath it, and if the burial pod would require some sort of microbial starter to ensure that effective decomposition would take place.

If it was an option, would you bury your loved ones in one of these?

[H/T Sustainablog]