Category Archives: natural burial

natural burial

Eaten By Mushrooms – NOT a Dr Who Story

Being eaten by mushrooms is not everyones idea of fun.   But when it is part of an environmentally friendly burial, you may begin to see the point of the Infinity Burial Suit which is being trialled in the US and is already going into production there.  This is there story (in US English!):

What is the Infinity Burial Suit?

Infinity Burial Suit

How does it work? The Infinity Burial Suit is a handcrafted garment that is worn by the deceased. The suit is completely biodegradable. It has a built in bio mix ­made up of two different types of mushrooms and other microorganisms that together do three things;

  1. aid in decomposition.
  2. Work to neutralize toxins found in the body.
  3. Transfer nutrients to plant life.

The end result of being buried in the Infinity Burial Suit is that bodies are transformed into vital nutrients that enrich the earth and foster new life.

How do the mushrooms work?

We are using two different types of mushrooms ­ edible and mycorrhizal. Edible mushrooms are scientifically proven decomposers. These mushrooms break down material by emitting enzymes. The mycorrhizal mushrooms deliver nutrients to plant roots.

Mushrooms break down toxins in two ways ­ with organic toxins, the mushrooms break down bonds and thus neutralize the toxins. In other cases, the mushrooms bind the toxins through a process called chelation and in turn make the toxins innocuous.

These various processes only provide positive benefits that save energy and resources, improve the soil, and enrich plant life.

What toxins are found in the human body?

The Centers for Disease Control in the US says we have 219 toxic chemicals in our body. These include tobacco residues, dry cleaning chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, flame­retardants, heavy metals, preservatives, etc. The CDC reports that the chemical Bisphenol­A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen and plastic hardener which causes reproductive and neurological damage, is found in 93% of adults age 6 and older.

Do the levels of toxins in humans ​really ​matter?

By being buried in the Infinity Burial Suit, you are helping the environment, which we believe is a valid cause, not matter how small the contribution.

If the mushrooms break down the toxins found in human bodies, do they become toxic? What if someone eats them?

By a process called mycoremediation, the mycelium actually can break down many organic toxins and even make many heavy metal toxins inert as well. Mycelium does not always fruit (making the mushrooms you see and buy) ­ that is dependent on soil conditions, temperature, and moisture; however, they are still working underground.

We plan on doing extensive research on all facets of the process. But as for the edibility that is still an active area of research. Some researchers are still conjecturing about this. But we hope to know more soon!

Are you introducing non ­native mushrooms into the ecosystem?

No, the strains of mushrooms that are used in the Suit are found all over the world.

Will the mushrooms eat me while I am alive?

(Remember this was written for a US audience who may not realise that you don’t put a burial suit on until you are about to be buried ;-).

Trying the mushroom shroud on for size

No. The mushrooms we are working with are edible mushrooms, which prefer wood­based substrates. These mushrooms are selected for their capacity to digest dead human tissue. They are not being genetically altered and will not morph into a flesh­eating disease. Consider the following…at any given moment, there are a million fungal spores, bacteria, and even viruses in the air, on every surface, and even in your own body competing for nutrients. Your body, when alive, has a natural defense mechanism (your immune system!) to fight off these microorganisms. Your body, when dead, no longer has an active immune system and will therefore become food for any organism.

How will Coeio test if it works?

Our products are based off of well researched basic science studies. There have been a number of studies that have proven that mushrooms aid decomposition, remediate toxins and speed delivery of nutrient to plants. We are applying this science to burials and testing our patent­ pending application. Validation and transparency are really important values to the company, so testing is central to us.

I don’t plan to die anytime soon, but I want to use the Suit when the time comes.

How long will it last?

You do not have to be at need to order an Infinity Burial Suit. We are expecting our early adopters to take possession of the Suit, which will be packaged for long, stable shelf life with a guarantee.

Has anyone used it yet? Our first human adopter is Dennis White. He is terminally ill and has an Infinity Burial Suit. Coeio made a film about Dennis, titled “Suiting Dennis.” It is available to watch on our site. We hope you enjoy watching it!

Is it legal to use the Infinity Burial Suit?

Yes, it is completely legal to use. Where the confusion comes in is that some funeral homes and cemeteries require a traditional casket to be buried. While they make it sound like a legal requirement, it actually has more to do with their own commercial goals. This trend is changing however. In recent years, interests in green funerals have been on the rise, and a growing number of green funeral homes and burial grounds have emerged. If you are interested in these, simply Google green burial or check out the directory at the Green Burial Council.

Do I have to be buried in a special place when I use the suit?

A range of options are open to you, including traditional cemeteries, specially designated green cemeteries, green burial conservation lands, or even on private land. Providers are different, so we recommend contacting them to discuss your wishes and make arrangements. We find that green cemeteries and conservation burial lands are the easiest to work with and most aligned with our customers’ values.

To find one simply Google green burial locations or check out the directory at the Green Burial Council. For burials on private land, please be aware that laws are highly varied by municipality. Be sure to thoroughly research the options in your area.

Can you put the Suit into a coffin, or does it have to go straight into the ground?

It is fine to use the Suit in addition to a biodegradable container. It is also fine to bury the Suit straight into the ground.

How deep do I need to be buried? Will the mycelium work at those depths?

We suggest that the suit be buried at a depth of 4ft, not 6ft, for the mycelium. In natural or green cemeteries, 4ft is the common burial depth. Burial laws vary state by state, but legally most states require 18 inches of a soil buffer between body/container and the ground.

When can I get a Suit?

We plan to have the suits available for purchase later in 2016. How much does it cost? We are still working through production costs, but our target price for the suit is $1500.

Are you making a shroud?

Yes, in addition to the suit, Coeio plans to design a Infinity Burial Shroud.

We have asked them to keep us informed, some environmentalists might want to watch this space!



Catholic Funerals Update 2016

Catholic Funerals Update Summary followed by full text,

Catholic Funerals

Catholic Funerals

The Catholic Church recently updated its’ advice on cremations.  In summary, cremation is permitted (though burial is much preferred).  However, the practice of scattering ashes or keeping them at home is prohibited,  Nor is it allowed to incorporate ashes is jewellery or otherwise separate the ashes.   As a lay person, it seems that the essence is keeping the body together ready for resurrection – and clearly cremation is not ideal from that viewpoint.

Once cremated, the remains should be kept in the church, cemetery or other specially designated sacred area.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Below is the circular the Catholic Church sent out regarding Catholic funerals.  For more information on taking out a Catholic Funeral plan, click the link or use the form to the right. Leave it, and it will inevitably cost more, and may be arranged by people who don’t understand your faith as you do.

Instruction Ad resurgendum cum Christo regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation, 25.10.2016


The following is the full text of the Instruction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Ad resurgendum cum Christo”, regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation, published today and signed by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller and Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, respectively prefect and secretary of the dicastery.

1. To rise with Christ, we must die with Christ: we must “be away from the body and at home with the Lord”. With the Instruction Piam et Constantem of 5 July 1963, the then Holy Office established that “all necessary measures must be taken to preserve the practice of reverently burying the faithful departed”, adding however that cremation is not “opposed per se to the Christian religion” and that no longer should the sacraments and funeral rites be denied to those who have asked that they be cremated, under the condition that this choice has not been made through “a denial of Christian dogmas, the animosity of a secret society, or hatred of the Catholic religion and the Church”. Later this change in ecclesiastical discipline was incorporated into the Code of Canon Law (1983) and the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches (1990).

During the intervening years, the practice of cremation has notably increased in many countries, but simultaneously new ideas contrary to the Church’s faith have also become widespread. Having consulted the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and numerous Episcopal Conferences and Synods of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has deemed opportune the publication of a new Instruction, with the intention of underlining the doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference of the burial of the remains of the faithful and to set out norms pertaining to the conservation of ashes in the case of cremation.

2. The resurrection of Jesus is the culminating truth of the Christian faith, preached as an essential part of the Paschal Mystery from the very beginnings of Christianity: “For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve”.

Through his death and resurrection, Christ freed us from sin and gave us access to a new life, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life”. Furthermore, the risen Christ is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep […] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive”.

It is true that Christ will raise us up on the last day; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. In Baptism, actually, we are immersed in the death and resurrection of Christ and sacramentally assimilated to him: “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead”. United with Christ by Baptism, we already truly participate in the life of the risen Christ.

Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning. The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church: “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven”. By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. In our own day also, the Church is called to proclaim her faith in the resurrection: “The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live”.

3. Following the most ancient Christian tradition, the Church insistently recommends that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places.

In memory of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord, the mystery that illumines the Christian meaning of death, burial is above all the most fitting way to express faith and hope in the resurrection of the body.

The Church who, as Mother, has accompanied the Christian during his earthly pilgrimage, offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of her grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory.

By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body, and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity. She cannot, therefore, condone attitudes or permit rites that involve erroneous ideas about death, such as considering death as the definitive annihilation of the person, or the moment of fusion with Mother Nature or the universe, or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive liberation from the “prison” of the body.

Furthermore, burial in a cemetery or another sacred place adequately corresponds to the piety and respect owed to the bodies of the faithful departed who through Baptism have become temples of the Holy Spirit and in which “as instruments and vessels the Spirit has carried out so many good works”.

Tobias, the just, was praised for the merits he acquired in the sight of God for having buried the dead,  and the Church considers the burial of dead one of the corporal works of mercy.

Finally, the burial of the faithful departed in cemeteries or other sacred places encourages family members and the whole Christian community to pray for and remember the dead, while at the same time fostering the veneration of martyrs and saints.

Through the practice of burying the dead in cemeteries, in churches or their environs, Christian tradition has upheld the relationship between the living and the dead and has opposed any tendency to minimise, or relegate to the purely private sphere, the event of death and the meaning it has for Christians.

4. In circumstances when cremation is chosen because of sanitary, economic or social considerations, this choice must never violate the explicitly-stated or the reasonably inferable wishes of the deceased faithful. The Church raises no doctrinal objections to this practice, since cremation of the deceased’s body does not affect his or her soul, nor does it prevent God, in his omnipotence, from raising up the deceased body to new life. Thus cremation, in and of itself, objectively negates neither the Christian doctrine of the soul’s immortality nor that of the resurrection of the body.

The Church continues to prefer the practice of burying the bodies of the deceased, because this shows a greater esteem towards the deceased. Nevertheless, cremation is not prohibited, “unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine”.

In the absence of motives contrary to Christian doctrine, the Church, after the celebration of the funeral rite, accompanies the choice of cremation, providing the relevant liturgical and pastoral directives, and taking particular care to avoid every form of scandal or the appearance of religious indifferentism.

5. When, for legitimate motives, cremation of the body has been chosen, the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area, which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority.

From the earliest times, Christians have desired that the faithful departed become the objects of the Christian community’s prayers and remembrance. Their tombs have become places of prayer, remembrance and reflection. The faithful departed remain part of the Church who believes “in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church”.

The reservation of the ashes of the departed in a sacred place ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of their family or the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect, which eventuality is possible, most especially once the immediately subsequent generation has too passed away. Also it prevents any unfitting or superstitious practices.

6. For the reasons given above, the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence is not permitted. Only in grave and exceptional cases dependent on cultural conditions of a localized nature, may the Ordinary, in agreement with the Episcopal Conference or the Synod of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, concede permission for the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence. Nonetheless, the ashes may not be divided among various family members and due respect must be maintained regarding the circumstances of such a conservation.

7. In order that every appearance of pantheism, naturalism or nihilism be avoided, it is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewellery or other objects. These courses of action cannot be legitimised by an appeal to the sanitary, social, or economic motives that may have occasioned the choice of cremation.

8. When the deceased notoriously has requested cremation and the scattering of their ashes for reasons contrary to the Christian faith, a Christian funeral must be denied to that person according to the norms of the law.

The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, in the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect on 18 March 2016, approved the present Instruction, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation on 2 March 2016, and ordered its publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 15 August 2016, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 Catholic Funerals the Doctrine.

Planning your funeral  in advance

Planning your funeral.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Planning a funeral can be hard when a loved one has died. Often you have nothing to show what they would have liked, just the conflicting views of family and friends. At a highly emotional time, that can be a recipe for disaster in even the happiest of families.

It has to be better to plan your own funeral.   Prepaying is a big part of that, but setting out more detailed wishes can pour oil on troubled waters. At the very least, it makes it easier for those arranging the funeral – if anyone disagrees, they have the perfect answer – you made it clear that was what you wanted.   End of argument!

Some of the decisions in planning your own funeral.

  • Which funeral plan?  

Many plans have hidden charges if you make changes, or there may be problems if the undertaker is taken over or goes out of business. Many firms make a substantial charge if you decide to move out of the immediate area of the original undertaker, perhaps to be near your children, or to find a decent care home.

  •  Burial or cremation?

Burial plots are rapidly running out in many areas, and often only reused ones are available.   It may not be possible to buy a burial plot where you wish to be at all. If it is possible, you will probably need to book and pay for it now, with just the other costs surrounding the actual burial process to be paid at the time.

In some areas, Natural Burial Grounds are becoming more widely available, and that is another alternative, as is burying your ashes rather than all of you.

Most people these days are cremated and have service at the crematorium rather than in a church or whatever your religious preference is. As long as your feelings are clear, of course. Some people want a memorial service in the church, before going on to the crematorium. This costs more as two undertakers or more will be working for longer, and the hearse will cover more miles too.

  • Coffins.

WIll you have a basic standard coffin or more expensive eco-friendly or wooden? Take a look at some of the more unusual ones.  Is it for burial or cremation?

  • Memorial

Is there to be a headstone or some other semi-permanent memorial? These are not included in normal funeral plans.

  • Music.

Do you want to leave the choice of music to others, or to arrange for your favourite pieces of music or hymns to be played as part of your Funeral Plan?  Which music means a lot to you?

  •  Newspaper notices.

Notices in local or sometimes national or trade newspaper are an important way to let people know about the funeral arrangements. Again, these are not including in standard funeral plans.

  • Transport.

Do you may want to decide, for example on:

– An alternative form of transport such as a horse drawn hearse or motorcycle hearse.

– Limousines for the funeral (most can carry six people). None? One, two or even more?

– Where the funeral procession will leave from and whether it will take a special route. That takes us back to where the service will be help.   Some people want to be taken past their favourite spots one last time.

  • Flowers

are not generally included in funeral plans, but you can include your choice of flowers, and just include an allowance for the cost. Some people don’t want flowers but:

  • Donations:

you can request that donations are made to a charity or other organisation.

  • Funeral Stationery,

You may want to choose a design, reading or wording for an order of service booklet for your funeral.

  • The Wake:

there is no reason why you can’t include an amount to cover the cost of the catering, venue and (if so inclined) drinks.

  • Summary

Planning your own funeral is a really thoughtful thing to do for those left behind,

So you want to be buried? Better hurry!

So you want to be buried?

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Nearly every other cemetery may have no more burial plots left by 2034. With a larger population (in both senses of the word) more people are dying and some are taking up quite a lot more space.  In some areas there is already little alternative to cremation.

The post war “Baby Boom Generation” will start dropping off the perch in greater numbers in this timescale. This will dramatically reduce in space available for those who wish to be buried.   That said, more commercial forest and green burial sites are coming on line, which will help a little.  We have a mini directory of woodland burial sites here.

The BBC covered the shortage of burial plots through a national survey and confirmed that there is a real shortage of burial space, with many cemeteries full and many only having limited availability.   There just will not be enough burial plots for everyone in the UK.

Possible Solutions to the Burial Plot shortage.

An increasing number of cemeteries are in the middle of towns where there is just no financial possibility of expansion. Churches which were on the outskirts of towns and villages are now surrounded by houses. Bring on new cemetery burial grounds is a slow and expensive process.

One controversial subject is the reuse of graves and burial plots. Most plots are sold on a leasehold basis, so that after a set number of years the grave may be reused. Typically another burial would be above the existing one – they don’t dispose of the old one. Many graves are owned by the family for many decades to come. Also, exhumation involves disturbing the current body that has been laid to rest, which can cause many issues with the bereaved.

Securing your burial plot now.

Just like funeral plans, many people are booking their grave early, ensuring a plot in their local church or cemetery.   That said, the popularity of cremation continues to increase, and at least it is cheaper to find a plot to bury a small urn.

Here at the Prepaid Funeral Plan Review, we watch with interest the rise of burial sites in the countryside. It isn’t a bad way of using poor quality farmland in an economic way. But anyone thinking they can turn any old spare field into a green cemetery is in for a shock when they approach the planners. Creating extra burial plots is hard, expensive work. And it takes a very long time.

Burial Plots Shortage

Parliament Dicusses Burial Plot Shortage.

With an ever expanding population, and the post war baby boomer population aging, there is massive pressure on burial plots.  In many areas there are virtually none left, with Church graveyards having been filled many years ago.

Action is needed for those who wish to choose a burial plot.

Indeed, there is talk of the Church of England offering a discount on services where the deceased is to be cremated!

The situation is dire in many city areas, with even paths and car parks being pressed into use as grave space, according to the Telegraphs report on burial plots.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Rural areas are increasingly turning to “green” burial sites so at least they have an alternative.  But the mood of the public, as far as our independent funeral plan advisers conversations with clients indicate, is away from conventional burial towards cremation which is generally cheaper. But the various green/ forest burial sites are growing in popularity as they become more widely available.   The link to green burial sites above lists the ones we are aware of so far – do let us know of any more we can add.

For those of you who wish to be buried, it is something that should be organised at the earliest financially possible moment if you know where you would prefer your resting place to be.  It is an added expense, but can be incorporated into the cost of a funeral plan.  Burial plots generally have to be paid for in one go, but we can almost always spread the cost of the actual prepaid funeral plan.

Generally speaking, our independent funeral plan advisers can arrange 12 months interest free installments with most prepaid funeral plan providers.  And if those are still too high for you, there are all sorts of other options available to ease the strain on your bank account as well as on those left behind.

After all, that is really the point, to minimise the financial and emotional stress on those left behind.  And to reduce the likelihood of quarrels over what you would have wished: sadly, these are an all to common cause of family splits where emotional, caring individuals vent their distress in ways which are not their usual cooperative style and take entrenched and opposing positions over what may actually be tiny, insignificant details.

Why not contact us today to plan for the inevitable, for you and your parents? There is no charge for our services, and we can often offer discounts over normal published prices.  Funeral plans are NOT all the same.