"Living coffin" the latest trend as more people want sustainable burial
One year ago, researchers at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) first developed a ‘living coffin’ that helps convert human remains to nutrients. Since then, nearly 100 people have chosen to be buried in the so-called Living Cocoon, NU.nl reported.
“I think it gives people a good feeling to still do something good for the earth, instead of leaving behind a scar”, designer Bob Hendrikx told NU.nl.
Conventional coffins can release substances that contaminate the earth around them over time. The Living Cocoon, on the other hand, is meant to enrich the soil around it, instead of polluting it.
The sustainable coffin created by TU Delft in collaboration with Naturalis is made of the living organism mycelium, a network of several fungi. The fungi look for waste material in their surroundings to convert them into nutrients for the environment. Thus, the Living Coffin contributes to the biodiversity in the soil around it and helps plants grow.
“The coffin is broken down within 45 days and thinks toxins in the ground are really tasty”, Hendrikx said.
The developers have now been working on increased their production capacity to accommodate the large demand for the sustainable coffin. “We have a lack of space in the Netherlands. How nice would it be if you could transform polluted areas into a place where people are converted into forests”, Hendrikx wondered.
Currently, the price of the living coffin lies above the cost of a conventional coffin at 1,495 euros a piece. Once the production process has been automated, Hendrikx hoped that the coffin will become more affordable.