Donate your body to a body farm
Slightly more morbid than the rest, donating your body to a body farm means forensic anthropologists, scientists, and detectives, will be eternally grateful. Huh, a body farm? It sounds as gruesome as it is. Deep breaths for this one.
To be able to understand the process of decomposition, bodies are left out on a farm in different elements and studied. A body may be left to rot in a stream, an open field, eaten by crows, or decomposed by maggots. Understanding how bodies decompose in these different situations can help criminal detectives further their skills, and develop our ideas of thanatology (the study of death). It’s gruesome, but it’s crucial for scientific advancements. Someone (or somebody in this case) has to do it!
Rock a biodegradable casket or shroud
If coming back to life as a tree or being involved in the most macabre research project isn’t for you, a simple biodegradable coffin or shroud should do the trick. Bodies are dressed in natural fabrics, such as linen and cotton, and placed in a biodegradable casket (may I suggest wicker, recycled newspaper or sustainably sourced bamboo) or cotton/linen shroud in the earth. It’s simple; it’s easy, and generally comes at a low cost.
Wear a mushroom onesie
You’ve heard of a wetsuit and a wedding suit, but I bet you’ve never heard of a mushroom burial suit. Designers Jae Rhim Lee and Mike Ma have created a suit lined with mushroom spores that eat you, rather than the other way round. These spores are specially trained to eat human flesh, and as mushrooms have a filtering quality, they cleanse the body of toxins before it decomposes back into the earth. The mushroom suit turns us into rich, lush soil.
The suit looks like a head to toe ninja outfit or pajama onesie, that is put on the corpse before it is buried. The clean soil (once a body) nourishes the earth and plantation around it, meaning this method of burial is good for the planet in every way.
Get dropped off at sea
The favoured way to go for sea lovers and ex-naval officers, sea burials are a gentle way to enter the after-life. Bodies are placed in biodegradable coffins, taken out to the perfect spot, dropped into the ocean to float for a few moments, and then sink to the ocean floor to break down. Of course, permits also have to be gained, so ocean patrols know not to ruin the funeral by calling the cops.
Rather than stick to the norm, why not leave this planet by donating your remains to the earth. Choose the ultimate zero-waste option by growing a tree and nourishing the forest around you, disappear into thin air through water ways, assist with research projects, get eaten (thankfully not eaten alive) by mushrooms, or swim with the fishes: literally. Concluding the ultimate eco-life by lying in a plastic casket with chemicals in my veins, would be hilariously ironic. No thank you.
I don’t know about you, but when I die, I want to be a tree.