According to a recent article in Sierra Magazine, there are fewer than 350 traditional, full body burial sites left in North America, which does not bode well for those wishing to be buried the traditional way. Of course, if you decide on cremation, you'll need a biodegradable container and a burial location. Fortunately, most conventional cemeteries have space for this option. Some even provide special sections for green burials ~ meaning those that forego embalming, specialty caskets, or urns. There are also some cemeteries that are adjacent to sprawling natural areas, such as protected state parks and forests, and are considered particularly desirable.
The really great news is that for those of us who are tree huggers and want to remain eco-friendly even after we croak, there are lots of groovy options for us to consider in the afterlife. Some of those choices include turning yourself into a "memorial diamond" through a company called LifeGem, a company that compresses your ashes into an authentic diamond or other cremation jewelry. Or, why not speak to your loved ones from beyond the grave by having your ashes pressed into a vinyl record complete with a pre-recorded message from you courtesy of a company called And Vinyly. Another cool option for nature lovers comes from a company called Eternal Reefs, who will mix your ashes with cement and turn you into an underwater memorial that will help to restore some of our most fragile ecosystems off our coasts. How can you not love a creative solution that provides an environment to support coral and micro-organisms?! And, you even get a military-style ceremony for your burial at sea!
As amazing as some of these options are, my absolute favorite is the one that allows you to become a tree! Natural burial is the ultimate 'back to the land' movement that buries your ashes in biodegradable containers, without formaldehyde-based embalming fluid or synthetic ingredients, and returns you to the earth to compost into soil nutrients and a forest of trees! Of all the companies I've researched for this particular choice, the one that I would likely choose is Bios Urn. The Bios Urn is a fully biodegradable urn designed to convert you into a tree after life. Mainly composed of two parts, the urn contains a seed which will grow to in the name of your loved one. Bios Urn turns death into a transformation and a return to life through nature. It is made using 100% biodegradable materials, and is respectful to the environment in all the ways possible. Built with a special capsule that meets the needs of any type of tree, it’s the perfect medium to allow for the proper growth of a tree or plant when planted with the remains of yourself or your loved one.
So, do you want to spend eternity as worm food, or would you prefer sheltering birds and squirrels and other tiny creatures? I would certainly opt for the latter!
Why not merge the ashes with the seed of your favorite type of tree, so that combined they form together a new life. You will carry on as another beautiful living being in the form of a tree . . . . something your loved ones can visit and care for! The tree will survive throughout generations and will also have its own descendants . . . . new young trees. That’s quite a reincarnation, a spiritual symbol of the circle of life. Even the most twisted tree is a unique and alive work of art.
Can you picture yourself in your favorite spot in the forest, in the park, or in the garden? It's unlikely one could imagine the same depth of tranquility in the cemetery.
After spending our lives acquiring objects, it might seem fitting to become something much more useful after death.
If traditional burial isn’t your thing, one of these awesome alternatives is sure to please you for all of eternity!