Becoming a tree: the Bios urn and Capsula Mundi change your mind

By Susanne Duijvestein, sustainable funeral director of Bijafscheid

What to do with the ashes? Earlier I wrote about the various choices of urns, cherishing stones and ash jewelry. Another revolutionary idea comes from the south of Europe: the Bios Urn from Spain and the Capsula Mundi from Italy. Because what if you can merge into new life after you die? And more specifically as a tree?

I don't need to explain the importance of more trees on our planet. Despite their simpleness, the Bios Urn and the Capsula Mundi make you think in a completely different way. About your own transience. About materiality. About life on earth. About what you leave behind.

Capsula Mundi

To be buried in a coffin, which actually blocks the action of nature, in a cemetery where people are commemorated with tombstones. The Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel thought it was an alienating principle. When you die, you should be absorbed into nature. So why don't we design objects that promote natural processes and leave something beautiful behind?

The answer from the Italian duo is the Capsula Mundi. An egg-shaped ecological capsule, in which the deceased body is buried in a fetal position, and above which a tree of your choice can be planted.