upward view of forest rees

Talk about recycling! The Bios Urn is the first fully biodegradable cremains urn that turns your body, once you are done with it, into a tree. For an alternative to costly, inefficient, environmentally troubling burial in caskets, this dual-chamber burial urn has the seed for a tree within that you bury, along with the ashes of a loved one (human or pet), and together they create a fertile zone for the growth of a new tree. As nature takes its biodegradation course, the whole thing eventually breaks down and becomes part of the sub-soil.

You can choose from a Maple, Pine, Gingko, Beech, Oak, or (pun intended) Ash tree/seed. It's a pretty great Circle of Life set up. 

The inventors, a two-man studio in Spain, continue to explore ways to interact with the natural world with innovative new perspectives. They've even done an art show: "Naturalment – Thinking Nature — An art exhibition that explores natural materials, shapes and processes to understand the inner logic of nature. The same logic that then can be applied to products and humans habits."

Today, the average cost of a North American traditional funeral is between $7,000 - $10,000, and caskets can easily cost more than that. The Bios Urn can be shipped anywhere in the world and runs about a hundred dollars plus shipping. The burial industry, in 2014, was a more than $16 billion business, and the vast majority of the practice is truly harmful to the land. Left to nature's own devices, our bodies are intended to decompose and return to the earth, so making a choice that doesn't needlessly prolong that process with wood, cement, metal, and other materials used to "preserve" remains is earth-friendly in the best way.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, all of it to branches and leaves...

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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF.org) and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project (mentorartists.org). Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at www.ChangeByDoing.com. As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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