While it is not a reality now, we may soon be seeing an option for an organic pod burial in the future. The project is still in its design phase and it is being developed by Capsula Mundi, a company based in Italy.
Capsula Mundi will offer two capsules for burials- one for ashes and one for bodies. A small capsule will hold the ashes, while a larger capsule will hold a body that will be placed in it in a fetal position. Once the remains are in place, the capsule will be buried in the ground and a tree will be planted over it to serve as a memorial of the departed. Those who are left will tend to the tree in memory of their loved one. The idea is that instead of the cemeteries that we are familiar with today, they will evolve into forests and woodlands instead. In addition, when making their arrangements, the person will get to choose the tree that they would like to have planted in memorial over their capsule.
The materials that Capsula Mundi plan on using is a bio-polymer, which is biodegradable. The material is made from decomposed seasonal plants. Once in the ground, it begins to break down and the nutrients go right back into the earth.
Capsula Mundi will soon launch their capsule for ashes. No word yet on when they may be launching their larger capsule.