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Thinking outside the box: five alternatives to a traditional burial

Posted at 4:25 pm, November 3, 2013 in Outdoor London

London is fast losing the plot, with many boroughs facing an acute shortage of burial space. So, rather than be planted, here are five alternatives to a traditional interment. Enter the hereafter in style!

1. Space
Let your colours truly burn by sending your ashes up in a colourful, light-up-the-sky fireworks spectacular. An alternative is to conquer the final frontier with a memorial space flight – send a symbolic portion of your cremated remains into Earth orbit, to the surface of the moon or even into deep space.

2. Compost
For the environmentally conscious deceased, a natural burial allows the body to be interred without chemical preservatives or embalming fluid in a biodegradable casket or shroud, so that it can naturally compost in the earth. There are now more than 270 natural burial grounds in the UK.

3. Mushrooms
Want to go one better that an eco-funeral? Then try the Mushroom Death Suit: an outfit infused with a strain of fungi spores. Through mycological tissue culture and growing techniques, artist Jae Rhim Lee has created a strain of fungus that will help break down her decomposing body after death. Fancy that with your full English?

4. Rain
Want to rain on your enemy’s parade? Although still in development stage, UK designers have created a micro airship that will transform humans into rain by dispersing ashes in the clouds, causing them to then fall as droplets from the sky.

5. Sea
Lay yourself to rest on the bottom of the ocean. Make your exit in a floating biodegradable urn which will bob briefly during a goodbye ceremony, before sinking to the ocean, lake or river bed and gently disintegrating away.

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