Alternative Options To Traditional Burials We Have Been Waiting For

Most of us don’t like to think about death. But come as it may, death is inevitable. And if you don’t make arrangements, someone else will have to do it for you. Why not think about some alternative options to traditional burials? Let’s have a look.

Traditional burials are not sustainable. The human population keeps growing, and we are running out of space in many places. Not to mention the costs, which have become outrageously high and unaffordable for many.

That’s why there are now some alternative options available. Not only are they eco-friendly, but they can also provide a loving memory.

Organic Burial Pods as alternative options to traditional burials

Organic burial pods are a great way for people who either have their own yards, or you want to be buried at a place that shares special memories. With the special designed pods ashes and even the buried corpse provide nutrients for a new tree or any other plant to grow.

Capsula Mundi

Capsula Mundi  “world’s capsule” in Latin, is an egg-shaped organic casket in which the body or ashes is placed. This unique burial method originated in Italy and created by designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel.

Alternative options to traditional burials shows egg-shaped casket with young tree growing on the top.
Capsula Mundi at the science festival Festiwal Przemiany in Warsaw, Poland, in 2016

The casket is made from a starch plastic which is biodegradable and allows decomposition. Thus the body transforms into minerals and provides nutrients for all vegetative organisms. Just think how the future graveyards could look like. Alternative options such as these could fill them with forests and parks, instead of cold tombstones. There are already places in the USA and UK where this type of burial is legal. So they just might become alternative options to traditional burials everywhere in the future.


Biodegradable Urns

These urns allow you or your loved one to provide nutrients for a tree after death by placing the ashes into biodegradable materials such as coconut shells, compacted peat, and cellulose.

The top part is contains a powder medium that allows germination of the seed, and the bottom part is for the ashes. The urn allows the seed to germinate separately from the ashes. Once the roots grow strong enough to make contact with the ashes they push through the urn.

This type of burial can be done anywhere, and does not require any special permits.

Eternal Reef

How would you like to be turned into a reef? This method does not use a biodegradable urn on purpose. It is meant to become part of a living reef.

The ashes are placed inside reef ball, which is a steel sphere. The sphere is then sealed and placed into the ocean to eventually turn into a part of a living reef.

You might also like to read the messages real people have received from their departed loved ones.

Eco-friendly alternative options to cremations

Many people have concerns about being cremated. They often worry about cross contamination where the ashes might contain residue from the previously cremated. There is also the question if it is eco-friendly to be cremated by fire. Here we have another alternative that can save people thousands of dollars on funeral costs.

Alkaline Hydrolysis

This process dissolves the body in a machine called Resomator. It is similar to cremation, but much cleaner since it produces less pollutants and carbon dioxide. It is also considered more ethical than cremations by fire.

Sandy Sullivan, the founder of Resomation Ltd, says that this method is good for society and the environment. Also that, “the quicker the backward ideas of the industry are resolved, the better.”

Their website states, “The system uses a water and alkali based method at high temperature and pressure to chemically reduce the body to white ash. After drying and processing of the white bones the pure white sterile ash is returned to the relatives just as with flame cremation.”

This process is currently legal in some parts of the USA and Canadian provinces, as well as in the UK. At this time there are two U.S. medical centers that use this method. One is the University of Florida in Gainesville, and the other the Mayo Clinic In Rochester, Mn. What’s more? It is extremely affordable. The estimated cost is just $45.



Eternal memories

So far we have seen alternative options to traditional burials. How about something that lasts forever, something that can always be by your site? During the Victorian era people used to have photographers take quite some macabre post-mortem photos to keep their memories alive. Good thing we have come along this far as we have today. Take a look at these four options that are currently available.

Diamond Ring

They say that diamonds last forever. So why not be turned into one?

A Swiss company by the name Algordanza is just doing that. They turn the ashes into sparkling diamonds by using the carbon that remains in the ashes after cremation.

They isolate the carbon from the ashes and it serves as the foundation for the diamond growth “following the example set by nature.”

The majority of carbon escapes during cremation by fire as carbon dioxide, leaving the ashes with only 1-5% of carbon. Maybe there will be a different way in the future that preserves more carbon to use for the diamonds. The more carbon, the bigger the diamond.

A Pencil

You don’t like to be a diamond? No problem. There is another method that uses the remaining carbon of the ashes. A 240 piece pencil set. What’s more, each of the pencils is foil stamped with the name of the deceased. They don’t last forever if you keep using them, but… no worry. Not all is lost.

You can only remove one pencil at a time. When it’s time to sharpen it, you simply sharpen it back into the box. This causes the space of the used pencils to become occupied with the sharpenings.

Once the box is filled with the “new ash” of sharpenings, it turns into an urn. The window on the box acts like a timeline that shows you the amount of pencils that are left over time.

A piece of art

This process uses one tablespoon of the ashes to create a unique ashes glass art memorial.

Seattle- based company, Artful Ashes, uses the art of glass blowing to include the ashes in a glass orb or heart design. The ashes then appear in a coiled pattern mixed with the colors.

They write, “Our artists capture the essence of your loved one’s spirit in a swirl of color and ashes, sealed forever within beautiful glass art,” and “These amazing pieces comfort your grieving, allowing you to hold and treasure your memories.”

The hearts are approximately 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches and 14 ounces, and the orbs are about 3 inches across and 14 ounces.

Going up in fireworks

Here are some alternative options to traditional burials that are… well… AWESOME.

Some like to have their ashes spread in the ocean, others by a ducks pond, and others just keep them in a fancy urn somewhere in the house. And the there are those that like to go out with a bang. Here are two ways to do just that.

Heavens Above Fireworks

Heavens Above Fireworks sends you or your loved one off in spectacular fashion by incorporating the ashes into fireworks. You can even choose what kind of display you like. Prices start out at about £950 (about $1,400 US).

If you want to go even further than that, they also a have a memorial space flight service, which start out at $1,295. It all depends on where and how far you want to go. You can choose between Earth orbit, Earth rise, and Luna orbit. Or… you can go all the way out on a permanent journey into the cosmos. That forever journey will cost you $12,500.

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