What are Burial Pods?

Burial Pods or a green burial allows the body to be recycled back into the earth naturally. In the United Kingdom for the past 20 years, a compelling consumer movement, Capsula Mundi, has supported natural burial grounds in place of cemeteries. No embalming fluid is used. People are returned to soil nutrients naturally.

A forest of trees mark these spots. These are called Memory Forests or Sacred Forests. With the Capsula Mundi method of burial you find rows of trees serving as sacred living memorials, instead of cemeteries filled with tombstones. This is an idea many people will be very comfortable with as they can now remember their loved ones not amongst lines of grey tombstones but in a completely natural environment. It is virtually a return to the Garden of Eden.

Cemeteries are running Out of Space

Burial Pods

For some time now attempts have been made to make cemeteries, funerals and and burials greener. This in line with  attempts worldwide to become more environmentally friendly in all aspects of life. Organic burial pods capture the attention and imagination of many people simply because they promote green cemeteries, or natural burial grounds.  This should indeed  be of interest to a society that is becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of a green burial.

A green burial is innovative thinking. The key elements are:

  •   A clean and natural body with no embalming fluid or other chemicals.
  •   A fully bio-degradeable container.
  •   Laws in place to support the concept.
  •   A community that stands together in their desire to return to eco-friendliness.


The concept of Burial Pods

 The idea of the burial pods comes from Italy. Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel designed their organic pod in 2003. These pods are egg-shaped. The dead body, draped in a cloth of natural fibres, is placed in the Pod in the foetal position. The pod is then planted in the burial site like a seed in the soil.

A tree is planted on top of it. The tree can be chosen while the person is still alive. Family and friends can care for it after the burial. The pods are made from starch and other organic materials.

The decomposition of the capsule or pod allows the organic matter to transform into minerals which provide the vegetative organisms needed to nourish the tree. This whole unique burial method is called The Capsula Mundi Project.

People the World Over taking the Natural Route

Sadly,in Italy itself this is still only a concept. Italian law does not allow for this type of burial. But in the United States and in England natural burial is not only legal but is becoming very popular as well. In the UK it is estimated that about 8% of the more than 150,000 burials are now natural burials.

New Beginnings

Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel are also designing smaller versions of these pods, in which ashes can be placed. These they are hoping will be available some time in 2016. The money raised from these mini-eggs will be used to fund the scientific and legal research so as to introduce the full sized capsule. Their aim is  to change the way people regard death, so that it doesn’t feel like a life ending, but rather a new beginning of a life – a tree.

Their Message of Life

” Is it not better to decide now how we want to be remembered, and what we want to leave behind for our loved ones as they stay behind on planet Earth?”  What a wonderful idea it is to bring our bodies back in the cycle of nature to where it started, in a perfect circle, where it can nourish new life.

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All info was correct at time of publishing