Spiritree – giving life after death

By Lorrin Windahl.

Death is a pretty morbid topic, one people often shy away from. But it is also the only certainty in life. We all die. Hopefully not until the very distant future though. And with the increasing size of our aging population, plots in cemeteries are going to come at a premium. But is it that sustainable to take up such a useful piece of land with my mortal remains? I’m more for the whole burning thing. No use taking up space. But what do my loved ones do with my ashes after that? I certainly don’t want to sit on the mantelpiece until someone accidentally tips me all over the carpet. So I think I’d prefer to be placed in the Spiritree, a plantable urn that breaks down naturally as the tree planted inside grows.

I love the simplicity and eco-friendly credentials of the product. Using my ashes to nourish a tree planted in my memory seems like such a beautiful way to finish up. I would much prefer it than to have a granite block with my name etched on it sitting in an eerie cemetery somewhere.

The Spiritree comes in two parts. The bottom shell, that holds the cremated remains, is made from an organic proprietary material that decomposes naturally with time. The composition of the material also helps to neutralise the alkalinity of the ashes. The porous ceramic lid protects the ashes from dispersion and will eventually break into smaller pieces as the tree grows.

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Designed by José Fernando Vázquez-Pérez in response to his grandmother’s passing, the Sprititree is a sensitive and elegant alternative to resource intensive casket burials. The product is made from local artisans in Puerto Rico and is relatively cost effective, when compared to casket costs, at a price of $225 USD. To find out more or to purchase your own Spiritree urn check out their website.

If you like the idea of being more sustainable but don’t want to be cremated perhaps check out our blog post on cardboard coffins.

All images courtesy of Spiritree.

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