When music-video director Tim Pope teamed up with The Cure to sing "I Want to be a Tree" in 1985, he possibly wasn't being literal. But this worthy, if unusual, sentiment seems to have served as an inspiration for Barcelona-based designers Martín Azúa and Gerard Moline, who bring us the Bios Urn - part of a recent surge in eco-friendly funeral products on the market. Now you too can aspire to be a tree.
For those of us for whom 'green-living' is important, it might also be prudent to consider 'green-dying'. It's a morbid thought, but alongside taxes, death is one of the few certainties in life - as is environmental damage. With this in mind we've seen banana-leaf coffins, Silk-Screened Eco Pods, woodland burials, and a slew of new funeral homes and companies offering greener choices for those preparing to meet their Maker. And why not? The population of the Earth is growing at a frenetic rate; we're running out of space to build houses and factories, let alone to set aside valuable land for cemetry use. Precious pine, mahogany and yew trees have to be cut down for caskets (approximately 437,000 coffins are burned annually in UK crematoriums alone). Leaking embalming fluid pollutes soil (827,060 gallons of formaldehyde, phenol, methanol and many other chemicals are buried each year in the United States). And lest we forget, carbon dioxide emissions are cooking our planet. Step forward Bios Urn, which its creators believe could help alleviate much of the above. A snip at just 137 euros an urn, you'll also keep your burial costs down - something all of us in the grip of economic recession will be relieved to hear.