For those seeking to live in the most sustainable way, there now is an afterlife too.
A Dutch intrepid inventor is now “growing” coffins by putting mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms, together with hemp fiber in a special mold that, in a week, turns into what could basically be compared to the looks of an unpainted Egyptian sarcophagus.
And while traditional wooden coffins come from trees that can take decades to grow and years to break down in the soil, the mushroom versions biodegrades and delivers the remains to nature in barely a month and a half.
Bob Hendrikx, the 29-year-old founder bedecked in a “I am compost” T-shirt at a recent presentation, said that he had researched nature a great deal “especially mushrooms. And I learned that they are the biggest recyclers on the planet. So I thought, hey, why can we not be part of the cycle of life? And then decided to grow a mushroom-based coffin.” Moss can be draped within the coffins for the burial ceremonies.
And for those preferring cremation, there is also an urn they grow which can be buried with a sapling sticking out. So when the urn is broken down, the ashes can help give life to the tree.
Currently, Loop Biotech has a capacity to “grow” 500 coffins or urns a month, and are shipping across Europe. Hendrikx said they have caught on in the Nordics.
“It’s the Northern European countries where there is more consciousness about the environment and also where there’s autumn,” he said. “So they know and understand the mushroom, how it works, how it’s part of the ecosystem.”