Jun 7, 2023
Humans’ impact on climate change and our environment is on many peoples' minds. People have begun carefully thinking about how their choices affect the natural world. For some, that concern even goes past death. They wonder: How much space will my coffin take up? Will cremation release greenhouse gasses? How can I fight climate change even after I’m gone?
One company in Denmark thinks it has a way to address those concerns.
“When we die … we should be adding value instead of another footprint,” Bob Hendrikx told USA Today. He’s the co-founder of Loop Biotech. It's a company that makes coffins and urns out of mushrooms. Usually, coffins are made from wood, and urns of silver, brass, or steel.
“The Loop Living Cocoon™ is a 100% natural product, grown from mycelium,” Loop says on its website. Mycelium is the underground root network of mushrooms. “The thousands of fibres of the … fungal network make mycelium a particularly light and sturdy material, suitable for growing a living product.”
Most of the 1.8 million caskets sold in the US each year do not break down. They're made of timber and steel. In contrast, a Loop Living Cocoon biodegrades in about 45 days. Customers can choose to have a seed put in the top of the Cocoon. Then, as the mushrooms multiply and the human body decomposes, a tree can grow in place of a tombstone.
Each mushroom coffin costs around $750. That's a small price to pay, Hendrikx argues, for postlife peace-of-mind.
“We can only (combat climate change) if we collaborate with the living world,” he said. “Collaborate with living organisms instead of dead organisms.”
Photo by Phoenix Han courtesy of Unsplash.