Curl Me Up, Stick Me In A Pod, And Turn Me Into A Tree

Two Italian designers have come up with an intriguing idea: when you die your remains are placed inside a biodegradable capsule, buried in the ground, and topped with tree seed or an actual tree. Your body then becomes mineral nutrients for the tree and allows it to grow.

Soon cemeteries with tombstones become memorial parks with trees.

 

I'm the evergreen in the middle. (Image from Wikipedia)

I’m the evergreen in the middle. (Image from Wikipedia)

 

Though the process is not yet legal in Italy, apparently some American and English locations would allow it.

More information can be found in the article: Bye-Bye Coffins! These Organic Burial Pods Will Turn You Into A Tree When You Die. There you’ll find images that better illustrate the process.

I don’t know about you, but I find the concept fascinating. I’ve tossed around the idea of a green burial for myself. Though I’m not a granola—and I do shave my armpits—I like the thought of my molecules becoming part of the earth.

 

Then again, I did wear these 'earthy' shoes with my scrubs in residency… (Image from Wikipedia)

Then again, I did wear these ‘earthy’ shoes with my scrubs in residency… (Image from Wikipedia)

Does this appeal to you? What type of tree would you want to become?

 

 

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standing color cropped tiny for blog postsCarrie Rubin is a medical thriller author with a background in medicine and public health. Her novels include Eating Bull and The Seneca Scourge. For full bio, click here.

262 Responses to “Curl Me Up, Stick Me In A Pod, And Turn Me Into A Tree”

  1. Kourtney Heintz

    I like this idea a lot. It’s so cyclical and a way to live on. I’d pick a spearmint tree (they smell so good) or a gingko tree (they have the coolest leaves).

    Like

  2. Sue Archer

    This is a wonderful idea that matches perfectly with my personal spiritual beliefs. I hope I will be part of a tree someday!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      And you’re very kind to come read and comment on all my posts. I’m not as good about that when I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a while. I can never catch up, so I just start with someone’s latest post.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. michellejoycebond

    I like the idea of spreading back into nature. My husband, on the other hand, would like to “die in the last space battle under an alien sun.” To each his own. 🙂

    Like

  4. philosophermouseofthehedge

    Old ideas reemerging again. In this area, it was common practice to plant a tree next to a grave. It marked the spot for the future when stones may fall or crumble, and shaded the spot for residents and visitors. I remember being very small and visiting old graves and my dad pruning the limbs and watching to make sure the roots didn’t disturb stones. Back then coffins were simple wooden ones and rotted quickly. New regulations ( disease oriented? to deter grave robbing?) lead to metal/more permanent caskets.
    I always like the idea of a tree being nourished by death of a person.
    There are places that sell cardboard caskets, but you need to check to make sure the cemetery/local government allows them.
    (Burial at sea is recycling for sure, but then there’s the thought of a fish that feasted being caught and served on someone’s plate…now there’s a plot for a story?)
    Lovely post (and to run back and comment – not really good at using phone for commenting…need smaller fingers and better glasses)

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge

      Oh, you closed comments on Father’s Day. I vote for the apple ( which I munch on a lot) Really cheap “medicine” to keep you healthy. And my mom always grabbed the apple saying “It’s a snack and a drink all in one – no need to buy a coke” Well trained.

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      • Carrie Rubin

        I love apples. Braeburns are my favorite. I’m not a fan of Red Delicious though. Too waxy.

        Yeah, I closed comments. Sometimes I’m lazy like that. I figured people had better things to do on Father’s Day than discuss the science behind food addiction. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge

          Currently Gala my fav. It’s difficult for me to eat – even buy Red Delicious. I had one of those in my lunch box every day for 12 years and summers…and they get mealy tasting in their “off season” Sometime closing comments is the only sensible thing to do.

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            • philosophermouseofthehedge

              Speaking of mealy and rotten. Sorry to see that notice from Kindle. But you know how these internet beauty pageants are – nothing to do with substance, so no curling up and becoming wooden, yet!
              What I thought was really really cool was your note to fans Kindle sent including your blog and social media info. Free publicity! Great way to branch out into the public awareness. So Write On…or you have to eat old undelicious apples as penalty

              Like

            • Carrie Rubin

              Thank you. Yeah, it was a bummer, but no turning wooden for me. I put up a post about it today. Since so many people were vested in the process with me, I decided I could be a sport and deviate from my only-post-on-a-Monday schedule. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie Rubin

      I imagine they did indeed do things like this in the past, and if we do more of it again in the future, I’m sure there are environmental issues to sort through (ground water run-off, etc.) But I really like the concept.

      As for consuming fish that consumed humans–that IS quite a creepy eye-opener! Definitely would make for a good story plot. 🙂

      And I hear you on the phone commenting. Drives me crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Zen A.

    Not sure how I feel about this. On one hand it IS pretty cool; on the other I like the idea of graves! Though I think I’d like to be a cherry blossom tree, or even a wisteria tree! 🙂

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      A cherry blossom tree would be very pretty. But yes, the old-fashioned approach still appeals to many, and I don’t see it disappearing any time soon. 🙂

      Like

  6. moylomenterprises

    The idea IS intriguing. Very earth friendly! However, Ive often told the kids to not waste money on a coffin and all that extravagant expenditure to just have me cremated, divide the ashes between the three of them (and the new spouse if I ever remarry) so no one has to be inconvenienced to come visit my grave, as they will be required to have a shrine for me in their own house (lol) where they can visit me at will.

    Now if I became tree fertilizer I have a feeling I’d want them to check that tree from time to time much like a grave site. Hmm, dunno where I’d want to be buried either. Yeah, think I’ll stick with my original idea (but I will tuck this thought away just incase I have a change of heart down the road) 🙂

    Like

  7. reocochran

    I would like to be a pink dogwood in the woods next to red buds in West Virginia on part of a wild foothill in the Smoky Mountains.

    Like

  8. Dawn Quyle Landau

    Love this idea! I would be a madrona or a sequoia. I’ve read some interesting pieces about new biodegradable cemeteries, where folks are buried in a simple linen shroud (no box) and allowed to decompose, with simple rocks for markers. These cemeteries already exist and are quite pretty locations.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Yes, I’ve read about those types of burials too. That’s where I first tossed the green burial idea around. I’d always thought of cremation before then.

      Such a cheery topic, isn’t it? But unfortunately, it’s something we all need to think about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dawn Quyle Landau

        I like the idea, but I’m too emotional… the idea of lying in the ground, in a box, in a shroud, however… creeps me out. Cremation is the way for me! (not that burning thrills me either! :-p )

        Liked by 1 person

  9. earthriderjudyberman

    The tree pod idea sounds cool. One cartoon showed the dearly departed as part of a fireworks display so they could “light up” their loved ones’ lives one more time. Another option is to be made part of a coral reef.

    Like

  10. Andrea Stephenson

    I had heard of this Carrie through a fellow blogger who said she wanted to be buried this way – I think it’s a great idea and certainly appeals – as for which kind of tree, I’m not sure I have a favourite, but one with blossom maybe.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I was thinking one with blossoms would be nice, too. Or one with fruit. But then I thought about those trees that can live for a thousand years or more. That might be kind of nice, too!

      Like

  11. Aquileana

    Just thinking that cemeteries with tombstones might become memorial parks with trees makes me more “hopeful” as to Death Itself … o_O
    Great post Carrie… I wish you luck with the book as well. Best wishes. Aquileana 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you so much, and thank you for the retweet of my novel. It’s very much appreciated!

      And I agree–living on in nature makes me more hopeful toward death as well. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Kate Johnston

    My brother-in-law told me about this several months ago, and I totally plan to do it. It makes complete sense to me, considering the damage humans are doing to this earth. It’s the least we can do!

    I think I’d like to be a willow tree. We had a gorgeous willow in my front yard where I grew up, and my sister and I climbed it to play spaceship and other magical games. We could get up pretty darn high, and the fronds hid us from everyone. A great place for secret clubs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie Rubin

      A willow tree would be wonderful. Large and spacious, and as you mention, plenty of room for climbers. Think of the stories you’d hear from those secret hiders!

      Liked by 1 person

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