Martin Azua, of Spain, has come up with an eco-friendly way to dispose of your corporeal remains after you die.  He is marketing his design as the Bios Urn.

The Bios Urn is a biodegradeable urn made from coconut shell, compacted peat and cellulose.  Inside is placed your ashes and a tree seed (which you can swap out for a different variety of tree).  The urn is then planted in the ground where the seed can germinate, reincarnating (recycling?) you into a tree.  Trees take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and “exhale” oxygen: so not only do you nourish the life of a new tree, you also reverse the carbon footprint you left behind.

I think the Bios Urn is a much better alternative than simply spreading your ashes over a favorite place or merely taking up space on a shelf in the home of a loved-one you’ve left behind.

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Comment by Daniel W on June 9, 2011 at 1:56pm

Nice idea but I agree that cremation is environmentally questionable.  It's hard to find the impact.  There are places in the state where I live (Washington State) that will bury your corpse without imbalming, wrapped only in a cloth bag.  They will leave pets on the bluff for vultures to eat, but not homo sapiens.    I did some research on objective measures of environmental impact of burial vs. cremation (air pollution, CO2 emissions, use of fossil fuels) vs. green burial (mostly transportation of the corpse) vs. other methods, and could not find clear answers.


People who leave near an ocean coast can also arrange for burial at sea.  There are some environmental regulations, I forget details but something like at least 20 miles out and you must be in a durable bag with weights so you don't float back to shore.  Unless you are sunk in the Arabian Sea, you are unlikely to run into Bin Laden there.  This method also uses some fuel, but maybe groups could be buried at sea at the same time ot reduce impact.


Comment by paul babcock on June 9, 2011 at 5:25am
I hope my dogs eat my flesh after I die.

This idea is a step in the right direction, but there are ways more and less effective and efficient than others.
Comment by Rob van Senten on June 9, 2011 at 5:21am

Personally I would prefer if other organisms would be able to eat my body without it being turned into ashes first. That way the long proteins and other cells of my body that still have some use won't go to waste. Cremating your body breaks down your body to the basic chemical components and as such will cost additional energy to be able to become useful proteins again.


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