Spiritree: The Carbon-Negative Path To Life After Death

It seems that every thing we do on this planet creates a mess. Even dying. After passing away, tradition demands that we be pumped full of chemicals and ensconced in a massive box made of highly decorated wood and metal. After a few hours in our overgrown jewelry box, we’re buried in the ground where the chemicals will slowly leach into the soil as the box breaks down around us.

For all the pomp and circumstance, there’s nothing natural about the way we deliver empty bodies to the great beyond, but that may be changing. Spiritree is the latest offering in greener burial technology. It is a biodegradable cinerary urn that transforms into a living memorial in the form of a tree, providing a literal representation of life after death.

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image via Spiritree

While there are other biodegradable cinerary urns on the market, none can claim to be carbon-negative like Spiritree. Not only does the unique urn return a loved one or pet’s ashes to the dust from whence they came, it also uses the nutrients left behind to grow a tree–which will spend its own life scrubbing carbon out of the atmosphere.

The two-piece container is composed of an organic bottom shell and a chemically inert, weathering ceramic cover. The bottom piece holds the cremated remains within its internal concavity, while the top part protects them from dispersion.

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Image via Spiritree

“When planted along with The Spiritree, the growing plant gradually feeds itself from the biodegradable bottom shell, and the calcium-rich cremated remains. In due time, the protective ceramic cover is broken by the growing tree, which becomes the actual living monument to the loved one’s remembrance,” explains the product’s website.

Spiritree received the 2010 reddot design award. Available for $225.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog