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Ashes to Ashes … dust to Trees? Biodegradable urns for the green dead.

Posted in Aging, and Things We Love

The Bios Urn
The Bios Urn

How would you like to grow into a tree after you die?

You don’t find many hip, happening product designers working in the funeral business.  But Catalan artist Gerard Moline has been thinking about creative ways for us to add to this world as we leave it. He has combined the romantic notion of life after death with an eco-solution to the dirty business of the actual transition or disposal. And come up with the  Bios Urn, a completely biodegradable urn that contains a tree seed.


Bios Urn is made from coconut shell, compacted peat and cellulose, into which the seed of a tree is inserted. Once your (obviously cremated) remains have been placed into the urn, it can be planted in the appropriate place and the seed germinates and begins to grow. You even have the choice of tree you would like to become: depending on where you plan to be … ummm… planted.

Moline first created this idea with his Bio Urn for animals in 1999. For our furry, scaled or feathered friends – he came up with a few different and rather inspired options in addition to the Bio:  burial at sea (made of salt), in the ground (made of sand), and for display (made of cork). They all retail through the curiously named Limbo Zoo at around $100 and I think make perfect sense. What better way to remember a pet than to bury him in a place you visited often?

When I showed these to Jack he licked my chin and went back to sleep. I guess he doesn’t want to discuss it right now. But I would love to provide shade to future generations. Or a place for monkeys to climb or birds to perch. This is the best after-life experience I can imagine. Count me in!


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  1. Amy Ricciardella
    Amy Ricciardella

    How do I do this for my mom?

    April 25, 2013
    • Hi Amy, I am assuming you are based in the States. Martin Azua (the inventor of the bio-urn) holds the patent for this product. A brief search on my part came up with a couple of European sites that sell it for 75 euros (about 100$) but here is Martin’s site
      Check it out and you can also contact him and he might be able to point you towards a US seller (although it’s probably not expensive to have it shipped from Europe). Hope this helps

      April 26, 2013
  2. silvia

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I’ll keep that in mind for sure

    February 27, 2013
  3. I saw something about this going around on Facebook. What a brilliant brilliant idea! I can’t think of anything I would rather have done after I die.

    February 27, 2013
  4. I’m in too – and I’d like to become a magnificent Jacaranda tree.

    February 25, 2013

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