Rest in peace.
Farm to Coffin
For the eco-conscious — and thrifty— a Dutch startup has created a mushroom coffin that will biodegrade in less than two months and costs the equivalent of just $1,000.
Dubbed the "Loop Living Cocoon," the fungal sarcophagus is made from mycelium, the thread-like underground structure of mushrooms, and upcycled hemp fibers, according to the company, Loop Biotech. The company grows the coffins, which look like human-size silkworm cocoons, in just seven days in their factory. Compared to a traditional wood casket, which can weigh from 150 to 250 pounds and cost many thousands, the mushroom coffin is light and airy at 66 pounds.
Depending on conditions, a regular wood casket will last for decades. But if you are in a hurry to enter nature's cold embrace, the mushroom casket will biodegrade in 45 days. The coffin comes with a bed of moss inside which you can also swap with a sustainable death shroud of linen. Rest in peace!
If even $1,000 sounds steep, the company's also selling an even cheaper mushroom urn to store cremated ashes, which the company says you can display in your home or bury it in the ground with a plant in the urn's lid.
"Instead of: 'we die, we end up in the soil and that's it,' now there is a new story: we can enrich life after death and you can continue to thrive as a new plant or tree," the company's founder Bob Hendrikx told the Associated Press. "It brings a new narrative in which we can be part of something bigger than ourselves."
This isn't the first we've heard of Loop, or more broadly the question of modernized, ecologically sound burial alternatives. In fact, the mushroom coffins might not even be hardcore enough for advocates of human composting, which has been legalized in several US states over the past few years, or even liquefying the remains of the deceased.
More on mushrooms: These Researchers Want You to Live In a Fungus Megastructure