Ashes to Acorns, Dust to Fertilizer

  1. The Eco-Friendly Way of Death

    The Eco-Friendly Way of Death

    Eco-friendly services, while a small part of the $12 billion funeral industry, are ready for their moment in the sun. Thanks to these Earth-friendly disposal methods, a human body can be transformed into a variety of things.

  2. Acorn


    Constructed from recycled paper—crushed tissue (for the stalk) and mulberry pulp (for the base)— the ARKA Acorn is a fully biodegradable urn. All-cotton ash bags with a “textured finish” are available for the ­interior at an additional cost.

  3. Furniture


    Fashioned from “sustainably harvested blue-stained pine,” this spare piece of home decor doubles as a casket. Lid emblems optional.

  4. Liquid


    Human remains are liquefied with potassium hydroxide and high heat, then released to a water treatment facility. Bone residue is saved for the urn.

  5. Coral Reef

    Coral Reef

    To construct memorial “reef balls,” artificial coral habitats placed on the ocean floor, cremated remains are added to a patented, ecologically friendly cement mixture. Since 1998, over 1,500 people have been laid to rest off the southeastern coast of the U.S.

  6. Fertilizer


    Cryogenically frozen using liquid nitrogen, the body is broken down into dust and buried in a biodegradable casket. The remains turn into loam—a farming friendly soil.

  7. Family Tree

    Family Tree

    Up to 15 family members (and pets, at no extra cost) can be buried in biodegradable urns at the drip line of a real “family tree” in one of several forests in five Eastern states. The remains eventually seep into the tree’s roots.

  8. Joke


    Design your own coffin or choose a scheme from this U.K.-based company’s panoply of themes, which includes sports, music, and video games. The structure is 60 percent recycled paper combined with wood pulp.

  9. Not-So-Green


    So green isn't your idea of postmortem stardom? How about a space burial ($995 to $12,500) or mummification ($67,000)?