The biodegradable burial pod that turns your body into a tree

(CNN) Your own carbon footprint doesn’t end in the particular grave.

“A lot of energy furthermore goes into producing these materials, that are used for a very short time and then hidden. They’re not going to break down very fast, ” states Jennifer DeBruyen, an Associate Professor associated with Biosystems Engineering and Soil Technology at the University of Tennessee.

Italian designers Raoul Bretzel and Anna Citelli may have a solution. They call it Capsula Mundi — “world’s capsule” within Latin — and it’s an egg-shaped, organic casket that’s suitable for ashes, too.

Once hidden, they say, the biodegradable plastic cover breaks down and the remains provide nutrition to a sapling planted right over it.

Bretzel and Citelli think that death is as closely related to consumerism as life. Their goal? To produce cemeteries full of trees rather than tombstones, reduce waste, and create new lifestyle out of death.

Although sowing a seeds on top of the Capsula may seem like an attractive concept, Jacqueline Aitkenhead-Peterson, Connect Professor in the Department of Ground and Crop Sciences at Tx A& M University, suggests elderly trees should be used.
“Because the body will free within a year in a buried atmosphere, the nutrients are released to the soil quite quickly, so the decently sized tree planted on the top would be key. Capturing these nutrition is also important to protect groundwater, inch she said.
But would it really benefit the atmosphere? DeBruyen seems to think so: “The problem with traditional burials is that these people completely anaerobic. The remains are usually buried deep and sealed within a coffin. There’s a lot of incomplete degradation. inch
“These pods may help maintain some oxygen stream into the system. The other thing they will bring to the whole system is carbon [from the starch-based bioplastic]. One of the constraints and issues with decomposing a human body is the fact that it’s very nitrogen rich. And so, the particular microbes that are trying to break down all of that nitrogen need some carbon in order to balance it out. ”

Legislation behind it

“I think there’s sufficient science and agreement that these [options] represent a really practical option for afterlife”, adds DeBruyen.
As technological research supports green solutions like the Capsula Mundi, environmental awareness can also be breaking down cultural barriers around burial.
“We’ve observed an uptick in the public desire for green burials in the last 24 months. Even though our providers continued to grow continuously, the public has become much more aware plus there is a lot more interest in the practice”, says Kate Kalanick, from the Eco-friendly Burial Council, North America’s eco-certification organization for the death industry.
She hyperlinks this increase to the baby-boomers’ environment awareness and interest in how their health will be disposed.
But is it legal? “It’s lawful in the whole of North America. We don’t have any governmental or legislative test their limits in the US or in Canada when it comes to green burials, ” says Kalanick.
Somewhere else, it could be a different story: “In Italia, for example , this type of burial would not become allowed, ” says Bretzel.
“We’re gathering signatures for a petition to make it lawful. But I know that it will be a good way before we can change the rules. inch