The new eco-friendly alternative to coffins: Organic burial pods

The traditional coffin has always been seen as the norm when it comes to burying our loved ones. However, a new burial method in Italy, titled ‘The Capsula Mundi Project’ just may be the way of the future. Created by designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel, it involves an organic, biodegradable burial capsule that will turn the deceased’s body into nutrients for a tree that will grow out of their remains.

Part of the motivation for this idea was the fact that cemeteries take up a lot of space, and cremating a person can take as much energy as that person used in a month back when they were alive. The organic burial pod would provide an eco-friendly solution.

How would it work?

The way it works, is that the body would be encapsulated in a starch plastic burial pod, while lying in the fetal position. The capsule is also 100% bio-degradable. Once buried, a tree seed is planted above the capsule which will then grow into a beautiful tree. Clients can even choose which type of tree they would like to be used. Imagine being able to pick out the type of tree you want for your loved one, as opposed to a coffin!

The idea is that eventually, there will be memorial forests filled with trees instead of cemeteries filled with tomb stones. Family and friends could then visit and care for the tree of their loved one who has passed on.


When will it come to be?

As innovative as it sounds, these burial pods are just an idea for now, as Italian legislation doesn’t allow for these sorts of untraditional burials just yet. However, there are already places in the US and in England where this type of green burial is legal. There are also several decomposable coffins and biodegradable urns that allow you to return to the earth.

The designers are trying to change the legislation so that this option is available to people, but we’ll just have to wait and see if this catches on in other places around the world.

Whether you like the idea or not, you have to admit that the idea of the organic burial pod is pretty original. You never know, funerals may be very different in the not-so-distant future!

1 Comment

  1. renate punt

    what is the cost of something like this?

    Hi renate

    You can’t find them in South Africa at the moment, you can visit the designers website here:

Leave a Comment

Answer this question * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.