For most people, a burial is plain and simple: a typical coffin laid six feet under. But burials need not be that typical. From being sealed in reef balls sent to the oceans to being contained in biodegradable coffins, here are unconventional ways to honour loved ones who passed away.
Environmentally conscious people are not just concerned about how they live—their noble interests extend to how they are buried. Green burials and eco-funerals are gaining popularity in the UK right now, as more people become aware of how their lifestyle choices impact the environment. In this type of burial, people choose eco-friendly coffins made of biodegradable materials, like bamboo, pine or willow.
Scattering a loved one’s ashes over water has been the norm in many cultures, but for some, they prefer scattering it upwards. What happens is that a person’s cremated remains are stored in a tiny spacecraft, launched to the outer space. This will then re-enter the earth’s atmosphere and burn up eventually. Many people chose to be buried like this, including the creator of the original Star Trek television series, Gene Roddenberry.
If there is a way to scatter ashes in space, there is also the option to keep remains on the ocean floor. For those who want to literally be one with the ocean, this is a good choice. In this type of burial, a person’s ashes are placed inside a steel sphere, which is called a reef ball. This ball will be left in the ocean, so it becomes part of a living reef.
You only live once, they say. You only get buried once too. So, make it count. Make it unconventional.