Save the earth even after you’re no longer on it. Eco-friendly alternatives to conventional burials are available in Singapore for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint even after their funeral.
Today, many across Asia celebrated QingMing Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day. During this three-day holiday, families take time to go outdoor to enjoy the greenery of Spring and clean (or sweep) the graves of their loved ones, and offer crackers and drinks to their ancestors.
While most of us do not think about death on a daily basis, festivals like QingMing helps us to appreciate its beauty. For the eco-conscious, alternative burial options not only help us keep the earth looking beautiful, but keep us following our environment friendly principles even after death.
Biodegradable Caskets and Urns
Ang Chin Moh, one of the longest-running bereavement companies in Singapore, offers biodegradable caskets made of wicker. The caskets are made by skilled weavers which also helps this small cottage industry, and are lined with unbleached cotton. These handmade earth-friendly caskets will be available beginning in June – Just in time for Earth Day!
The eco-friendly caskets are designed so that they return to the earth more quickly than conventional, heavy, silk and cushion lines caskets. For those who want to be cremated, they also offer biodegradable urns to hold your remains.
For an earth-friendly and minimalist casket, you may also check out ECoffin which provides biodegradable cardboard coffins for burials or cremations.
Heirloom Gems and Beads
Ang Chin Moh also offers a service to turn ashes and bones into beads so loved ones can keep you close to them even after you’ve departed. Other services that can turn you into a priceless heirloom jewel are LifeGem which can turn cremated remains into various colours and carat quality of real diamonds, or Sacred Legacy Arts which can take, not only ashes, but locks or hair, breastmilk, or even umbilical cord blood, and turn them into one-of-a-kind jewelry.
Blast off into Space!
With land for conventional burials getting more expensive and harder to find in Singapore, some are looking to the stars as an alternative burial. Celestis offers to send your ashes into outer space where you may literally become stardust. They even offer packages to enter earth’s orbit, land on the moon, or launch into deep space.
Under the Sea
If the mysteries of the deep are more your style, you may choose for your remains to be turned into a new home for our underwater friends. Coral Reefs are undergoing a worldwide catastrophe. Illegal fishing, bleaching, sunscreen use, ocean pollutants, and other factors are killing off more and more of these diverse habitats for fish and coral.
But Eternal Reefs seeks to provide new fish homes by turning your cremated remains into Reef Balls which are sunk into the sea for new coral to grow on.
Save a Tree, Become a Pencil
This may appeal to those who were writers in this life. Artist Nadine Jarvis has a concept to turn cremated remains into pencils! Considering that 240 pencils can be created from the average six pounds of ashes made from the cremation process, you’d help save at least a few of the 82,000 trees that are cut each year to make pencils.
She even designed the wooden pencil box to have a sharpener on one side to collect the shavings from the pencils so your loved ones will still have some of your remains leftover when all of the pencils have been used up.
Jarvis’ other eco-friendly burial alternatives also include a bird-feeder made from ashes.