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.”
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. For more ideas about what to do with yourself when you’re dead—from artificial reefs to diamonds—make sure to check out our handy guide here.