Although death is universal, it seems that the final choice of how our bodies are laid to rest is not – and traditional burials are looking like less and less attractive as they take up land and use unsavory chemistry that eventually winds up in the soil. As a result, cremation and natural burials are becoming more popular due to the sensitive way they return bodies to the earth. We spotted a new approach over at Treehugger that was proposed by India-based industrial design student Margaux Ruyant as a thoughtful way to memorialize the deceased by incorporating their ashes into a living tree memorial. Poetree is a ceramic ring with a cork receptacle for ashes and an opening on top for a tree to sprout from.
The Poetree is an interesting hybrid between burial and cremation – it’s an urn and a memorial marker at the same time. The remains are placed in a container made from cork, and a cork stopper is removed to make room for a small boxwood tree. The sapling is placed outside in its biodegradable pot, surrounded by the ceramic ring with the deceased’s inscription.
The Poetree is placed in the ground when the tree is mature enough, allowing the cork vessel to break down into the soil while the ceramic ring provides a living marker for the deceased – who is also now a part of the tree. The sustainable memorial is a marker of their passing but also a gentle reminder of the cycle of life.