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. Joanne

    A very cool and intriguing alternative. I like it. Type of tree? Maple or oak. Sturdy, strong and give via beauty, shade and food products.

    Like

  2. Jilanne Hoffmann

    Oh yeah. I grew up on the farm, and the standing statement in my family was: When I die, just plow me under. Strangely enough, my parents opted for the standard hermetically sealed concrete vault that will last forever. Me? Yes, plant me with a tree, preferably a redwood. 😀

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      A redwood would be lovely. And think of how long you could live on as a tree. They can live many, many years.

      Thank you for the Twitter share!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Alejandro De La Garza

    I’ve always seen myself as either a pecan tree (full of nuts) or a giant saguaro cactus (pretty from a distance, but watch the thorns!). Seriously, I think allowing one’s self to be utilized as fertilizer for future trees is a grand idea. Trees last longer and add to the beauty of the planet.

    Like

  4. ParentingIsFunny

    That’s a very cool idea. I’m partial to willow trees, but I’m not picky. Someone saw my Birkenstocks hanging out on the grass recently and said, “Who’s the flower child?” I’m no granola either, but birks are the best!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Haha, ‘flower child.’ I tossed out my well-worn Birks years ago. Wonder if a pair will ever grace my feet again. There’s a high probability they will. 🙂

      Like

  5. Lucky Wreck

    What a great idea! I would love to be a tree! I always thought I’d go with cremation because as a kid, I went through a phase of being very concerned where all the people would fit in the ground if there were no more empty space left. It kind of stuck. 😀 But, I’m liking this tree idea, and think it may trump the cremation idea for me.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Same here. I’ve always thought cremation, until I heard about green burials. Adding a tree to the mix makes me want to go that route even more.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Katie

    I have always enjoyed dogwoods but a beautiful and mysterious tree that I have only seen in pictures, despite trying to find one, is the dwarf Crimson queen Japanese Maple. 8)

    Like

  7. NancyTex

    I think the whole idea of burying bodies has passed its expiration date. With world population what it is, and nobody growing any extra land, I think it’s actually pretty selfish to want to take up space after you’re gone. That said, I get that some people insist on going this route because of religious beliefs.

    I decided years ago that I wanted to be cremated to minimize my burden on the planet after I’ve taken my last breath. Having recently read about the process you shared in this post, I started to rethink my adamant resolve to be cremated.

    Then again, if I wasn’t cremated, how could my husband sprinkle my ashes all over the peaks and summits I hadn’t yet crossed off my bucket list before croaking? (Something I’ve told him he must do, if I go before he does. :-))

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I always figured I’d be cremated too, but then I came across the concept of green burials a couple years ago, and I liked that idea. And then when I saw this, I liked it even more. Hopefully, we’ll both have years ahead of us before this becomes our reality! And hopefully you’ll get to cross most of those hiking paths off your list by walking them—not by being sprinkled over them. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My Inner Chick

    I LOOOOOOOOOOVe the idea of being useful after death…
    and about the “FAITH” issue…Well, the soul has already risen.
    Taking up all of that beautiful space w/ coffins and stuff is ridiculous.

    xx

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      And really, how much longer can we do the traditional coffin thing? The world population is growing at a phenomenal rate. Eventually we’ll run out of room!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Brigitte

    I think if I could lay aside my decades’ (since I knew about such things) notion of there being some kind of marker about me, who I was, (which really doesn’t matter) and IF I could shrug that off, I think it’s kind of a cool idea. I hope it is truly an altruistic endeavor and not some trendy, let’s do this “cool concept, have people buy into it that they are helping the environment and make loads of green,” (the other kind $$$$, moolah, cheddar, serious change, MONEY) and charge people a go-zillion dollars to put them in a pod, IF it’s really for the right reasons, then maybe yeah.

    But maybe I just becoming more jaded as I grow older. And wiser. Peace, Carrie. (winky, smiley, peace-symbol icon).

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      It would be interesting to know how much this costs, no doubt. It might be unattainable for many. But I still prefer it to the notion of me being embalmed and slowly decomposing in a non-biodegradable coffin. Ah, such a cheery subject…

      Peace out, Brigitte. You’re groovy.

      Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I agree. I suppose there are logistics to think about, like groundwater runoff as someone earlier had mentioned, but I’ll leave that to the experts. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. jmmcdowell

    Even though I’m a genealogist who’s spent many an hour in cemeteries looking for ancestors’ graves, I love this idea. 🙂 For me, I’d like a tree that provides good habitat and food for the native wildlife.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      That would be nice, and in that sense, you continue to nourish life beyond just the tree. That has a very ‘circle of life’ vibe to it. 🙂

      Like

  11. diannegray

    I heard about this the other day and was talking to hubby about it. It’s a fantastic idea! My tree would be a fig 😀

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      A fig tree would be very pretty. And I’m discovering the best thing about this post is I’m learning the names for all sorts of trees by Googling them after someone’s comment. A nature connoisseur I’m not!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ellamedler

    Yes, I know of places that allow it, and I certainly love the idea. Far nicer picture in my head than a bunch of maggots eating through my eyeballs in a pretty – but useless – coffin. Now I’ve grossed myself out. Ugh.

    A willow. I’d love to be a willow. I used to play in a weeping willow in my childhood – I did my tree climbing apprenticeship on that one. Then someone decided the kids who played around the willow tree were too noisy for the neighborhood and cut most of it off, leaving little more than a chunk of tree trunk. 35 years later (or so), I still remember that tree, though not many of the neighbors. 🙂

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    • Carrie Rubin

      A large willow tree would be wonderful. What a magnificent thing to be able to know a loved one had once been buried beneath it and helped nourish it. And I agree–that’s a much better image than maggots! (How sad that someone cut down much of the willow tree of your childhood. What a grumpy pants.)

      Like

  13. Smaktakula

    This is a lovely idea, and hopefully it will catch on for most people. Myself, I don’t feel that I could in good conscience be buried in this fashion without a marker. Not for me–I’ll be dead, of course, but for the thousands upon thousands of mourners who will gnash their teeth and rend their clothes upon my demise. If I selfishly have myself buried anonymously under a tree, I am denying these heartbroken people the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to my grave. In good conscience, I just can’t do that.

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    • Carrie Rubin

      That is very noble of you. As tempting as it must be for you to become a cactus or a poison ivy plant, the fact you’re willing to give that up so people can better pay their respects to you is a testament to your true generosity. (And yes, this comment comes with a giant winky face for anyone else reading this.)

      Like

  14. Jay

    I’m not really into markers after death. Don’t plan on being buried one way or the other. Burn me up and let me go!

    Like

  15. J.B. Whitmore

    A hemlock. Not the poison water plant, the tree with droopy top. Here I am worms. Num, num. Thanks for posting this. It’s a creepy cool idea.

    Like

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