Do you like the gracefulness of a willow tree, the nationalism of a maple tree or the resilience of an evergreen? Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel have just created an alternative to wooden coffins and even to traditional cemeteries: biodegradable capsules with a tree on top. Citelli and Bretzel’s product will let you pick your favourite tree that’ll not only keep you company after you die, but also, that you’ll inevitably become a part of.
The designers write on their website that their goal is to “change the perception of death, not as the end of life but as the beginning of a return path in the biological cycle of life.”
The egg-style capsule’s called a Capsula Mundi and is made of completely biodegradable materials — it’s also big enough to hold you in fetal position. This means that it’ll eventually melt away into the soil and provide the tree on top with nutrients. Basically, you could be absorbed by the tree and live on as part of it, if you’re into that kind of thing. And apparently, a lot of people are.
Research analyst Asa Goldman surveyed 650 Canadians and found that 44 per cent of those who took the survey were interested in having some form of a natural burial. Considering the fact that there are only four natural burial sites in Canada, this could change cemeteries for the better. Imagine visiting a loved one who was able to live on in the form of a tree and how much more inviting and soothing cemeteries would be. The designers envision these capsules becoming the essence of a “sacred forest” where community members work together to care for the trees and learn about nature.
There’s another benefit to these eco-coffins, aside from how aesthetically pleasing the capsules are. It’s actually cheaper to be buried in one of the capsules than to buy a wooden coffin (eco-coffins cost around $500 to $1,000 CAD to be buried in as opposed to a wooden coffin’s hefty $2,000 to $10,000 CAD fee). As appealing as the low cost is, the best part of this project (in our opinion) is that when one life ends another can finally begin.
Recently, Citelli and Bretzel started a Kickstarter page for producing the capsules at cheaper and faster rates. There are only 24 days left for the designers to meet their goal of 60,000 euros, and currently, they’ve reached a little over 9,000 euros. So get cracking and invest in one of these eggs.