Inventor Bob Hendriks has devised an environmentally friendly way to be buried. The coffin is made from mushrooms that become a part of the soil after the burial, allowing the deceased to become one with nature. Funeral care provider DELA is enthusiastic and has already put this to use.
A year and a half ago, Hendriks took his plan to the head office of the funeral company. “I told them my idea and luckily they believed in it. Now we are here with a large version and the general public can opt for this box”, says a proud inventor.
How does it work?
Mushrooms are the largest recyclers on the planet and convert everything that is dead into new life. Both the coffin and body decompose within 45 days in the soil. “In this way, we return to nature in a natural and fast way. With traditional coffins, it can easily take ten years before the coffin has decayed”, explains Hendriks. Another important difference is that this coffin grows within a week whereas the material for a traditional wooden coffin takes about 50 years to grow.
The living coffin is also approved for use in cremations. That sounds contradictory because during combustion the root network of mushrooms also burns and thus no new life is created. And yet, “if you want to burn a coffin, preferably this one. That is really a lot more environmentally friendly”, Hendriks responds.
At first, the living coffin was not suitable for a funeral, explains Ilse van de Voort of DELA. “Bob has very good ideas, but his knowledge of the funeral industry was limited. For example, Bob’s initial design did not allow for the coffin to be carried with dignity. That problem has now been solved”.
There is already a rising demand for the coffins. “We have had a number clients asking for it,” says Van der Voort. “It is a more expensive coffin for the time being. With us it will cost just above a thousand euros”.
Whether this is the future is not known yet but, it certainly is a step in the right direction.