Turn Yourself Into a Tree

Canada has just opened the world’s first 'Wood of Life': an area of land devoted exclusively to creating forests of trees grown from the remains of loved ones.

For the last two decades, Bios - a green funerary company - has been dreaming up innovative ideas to help people mourn their loved ones without using traditional burial methods, which are notoriously expensive and harmful to the environment. Furthermore, the world’s cemeteries are running out of space.

As a green solution that will delight nature lovers, Bios has created the “Bios Urn”. It's biodegradable and contains a tree-planting mixture that can be combined with the cremated remains of a family member or pet. Once planted in the ground, the urn blossoms into a tree that can support the planet while also serving as a living memorial for the deceased.

The ingenious Bios Urns are currently available with eight different native tree species, including oak, gingko, lilac, hydrangea, sugar maple, crabapple, serviceberry, and amur maple.

“We have chosen hardy species which do not require much care and maintenance and which also grow well in our area,” reads the Bios website. “The tree grows from the ashes, the urn biodegrades leaving absolutely no trace, and death becomes a transformation and return to life through nature."

“On an individual level, it’s very therapeutic in a time of immense grief. On a global level, we are taking collective responsibility for much-needed planetary restoration. We are talking thousands, if not millions, of trees planted every year.”

Bios Urns cost around $140 each and have been shipped to more than 50 countries around the world. An now, in Québec, the company has launched its first “Bios Park”: a green space for grieving individuals and families to plant the urns. The Bios Park even offers family plots, accommodating up to 9 people.

The newly-opened “Boisé de Vie” Bios Park - which translates to “Wood of Life” in English - is available to people of all religions, and Bios hopes that this trailblazing idea will be just the first of many new Bios Parks.