By Raven Fon
Visiting a loved one in a cemetery can evoke more than just feelings of sadness and loss, it can fill you with a sense of dread or even fear. Let’s face it, cemeteries are not the most joyous of places to be. Usually filled with harsh edges, rough surfaces, grey colours and monotonous structures, cemeteries are the last place on earth you would feel “lively”. What if there was an alternative to tombstones and coffins, one where there was beauty and life surrounding our passed loved ones? Capsula Mundi has the answer.
The Italian project has designed an eco-friendly burial pod. The pod is shaped like an egg, and the deceased are placed inside, in a fetal position. When the person is alive, they choose the tree they wish to have as “theirs”. After death, the pod is planted like a seed with the tree on top. The deceased’s relatives and friends then look after the tree; instead of a cemetery full of dreary tombstones, there is now a sacred forest. Wouldn’t that be nice?
When we go to visit our loved ones who have left this world, we could visit a memorial forest and tend to a tree of their choice. We could teach our children about the cycle of life and death without headstones engraved with names and solidified dates. We could walk through a forest of life, rather than tombs of death. And on top of everything, these pods are made from starch plastic consisting of potato and corn fibers, so they’re good for the planet!
This burial concept is currently prohibited by Italian law, where the capsule was developed, but is allowed in certain parts of the United States and Europe. Italian legislation has strict rules regarding burials: coffins must be made solely from wood and must also be tinned, cemeteries must be located in a protected and closed area, and the space you are buried in is temporary unless your family owns a chapel.
These rules were initiated by Napoleon Bonaparte, and current Italian culture is no longer represented by these ancient ways of seeing things. The Association Capsula Mundi wants to conclude their project for the benefit of the world.Here is where to reach out to their parliament and request their legislators to review the burial laws.
The following video takes you through the entire process and the goals of Capsula Mundi. You can visit their website here.