“After you die, do you want your body to feed worms or to feed squirrels?” asks the team behind the Bios Urn — a product by Spanish design studio estudimoline — that enables you, your loved ones, or your pets to be buried in a life-assuring kind of way by transforming their ashes into a tree.
“Bios Urn changes the way people see death, converting the 'end of life' into a transformation and a return to life through nature. [It is] a smart, sustainable, and ecologically friendly way to approach what’s, probably, one of the most important moments in human life.”
The Urn is 100% biodegradable, made of coconut shell, compacted peat, and cellulose. It has two parts — a top capsule for the seed, and a bottom part for the ashes. This structure allows the seed to germinate separated from the ashes and their high acidity. Once the urn starts to biodegrade, the seed roots are already strong enough to contact them and the entire set becomes part of the sub-soil.
The Urn is manufactured both for people and for pets; it can be used with ash saved from another urn, and it doesn’t expire. So far, the studio has distributed the Urn to more than 7,000 people worldwide. When ordering, the customers can pick the type of seed they would like — oak, maple, pine, gingko, beech, ash, or choose to get an urn without a seed in order to use their own. Either way, the cost is $145 plus shipping.
Leaving behind a tree definitely seems like a better option than leaving behind a tombstone.
Photos: Urna Bios
Originally published 5/6/11. Updated 2/3/14.