Have you heard of a mushroom burial suit for green burial? The mushroom burial suit or Infinity Suit is a new concept in green burial. It starting gaining popularity in 2016.
The idea of mushroom burial suit is the brainchild of artist and entrepreneur Jae Rhim Lee who studied mycoremediation – the science of using fungi to assist in metabolic decay. She discovered certain types of mushrooms naturally decompose pesticides, heavy metals, and pharmaceutical waste.
Lee, the founder of Infinity Burial Project, worked to find a hybrid mushroom that decomposes bodies quickly and remediates the toxins we accumulate over a lifetime while transitioning the body into nutrient-rich soil through decomposition. She found the best mushroom variety by feeding her nails, skin cells, and hair as food to the mushroom.
The infinity mushroom suit she developed aims to make decomposition quicker, remediate the toxins in the body, and deliver essential nutrients to plant roots.
The mushroom burial suit was born out of her three passions: science, art, and fashion. She debuted her idea of the infinity suit at a fashion show at the Boston Museum of Science in 2008.
Lee also delivered a TED Talk in 2011. However, the suit has been available since 2016 on the Coeio.com’s website.
Beverly Hills, 90210 actor Luke Perry who suffered a massive stroke on March 4, 2019, and died at age 52, was buried in a mushroom burial suit. Luke Perry’s daughter revealed on Instagram that they buried her dad in a biodegradable mushroom suit from Coeio.com upon his request.
WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR GREEN BURIAL?
The issue of death and decomposition make a lot of people cringe.
Our denial of death makes embalming and cremation a $20 billion funeral industry. And, it’s continuing to grow to give us aesthetic interment and make us look like sleeping.
After a lifetime of eating and environmental exposure, our body contains high levels of toxins.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are up to 219 toxic pollutants in our body. This includes bisphenol A, pesticides, flame retardants, heavy metals, dry cleaning residues, and many others. When we die, these toxic pollutants in our body leach to the soil and contaminate the soil and groundwater.
While we are living, our daily living practices often harm the environment. Additionally, when we die, our bodies can continue to negatively impact our planet.
First, from these toxic pollutants in our body, and second from standardized funeral practices.
There are two traditional funeral practices:
Tradition funeral practices such as embalming and cremation contribute to our carbon footprint when we die.
When we choose to be buried, our body will be drained of blood and injected with formaldehyde, methanol, and other solvents to prevent our body from decay.
There are approximately 4.3 million gallons of embalming fluid used for embalming each year. 827,060 gallons of that is methanol, formaldehyde, and benzene.
The embalming only slows the process of decomposition, but we will eventually decompose. And, all these chemicals are then released into the soil during the decomposition process despite the caskets.
Additionally, caskets and vaults use 20 million board-feet of wood, mostly rainforest woods. 64,500 tons of steel, 17,000 tons of copper and bronze which leach copper, iron, lead, cobalt and zinc into the soil.
Cremation is not a better funeral alternative. This process uses 28 gallons of fossil fuel to reach 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours to turn a single body into ashes. Cremation releases dioxin nitrogen oxide, and mercury into the air. Acid rain contains these same chemicals.
What’s more, funeral services have skyrocketed over the years!
In 1960 the average funeral cost $706. Today, the average casket funeral costs between $8,000 and $12,000. For this reason, about 43% of Americans today are choosing to be cremated. Cremation costs between $1,000 to $5,000 including the funeral costs.
Green burials are burial practices with low environmental impact. Green burials also leave a smaller harmful footprint on the planet. A green burial’s main objective is to conserve natural resources and preserve the environment.
Green burials mean your body will be interred in the ground without the use of vault and casket. It also doesn’t involve embalming fluids like formaldehyde, making the process of dying greener.
Today, a growing number of environmentally conscious Americans are looking for a sustainable manner of laying themselves and their loved ones to rest.
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, more than 53.8% of Americans are interested in green burial because of its environmental benefits and cost savings.
Green burial helps people transition out of this world with a little carbon footprint as possible.
Other companies have also attempted to address this environmental issue with flameless cremation (resomation) using alkaline hydrolysis to rapidly break down the remains. Human composting or recomposition is another green burial alternative that has beneficial effects since it addresses space issues in rural areas.
The Infinity Burial Suit or mushroom burial suit is one of the most remarkable in the green burial industry because it addresses the toxins in our body.
The mushroom suit eliminates the need for hazardous formaldehyde and GHG-emitting cremation. The mushroom suit also does not require a casket, which is more eco-friendly. It is also wallet-friendly because the cost is significantly lower than the average funeral and less expensive than cremating a body.
WHAT IS A MUSHROOM BURIAL SUIT?
Mushroom burial suit or Infinity Burial Suit is a handcrafted organic cotton suit infused with a biomix of mushroom mycelium and other microorganisms that are worn by the deceased.
Coeio, a New York-based company, manufactures the mushroom suit.
This suit contains mushroom spores and other elements embedded in the fabric containing nutrient-rich jelly, which dissolves quickly and becomes food for the growing mushroom. It will quickly decompose the body, neutralize toxins accumulate over a lifetime before it leaches to the soil, and transfers nutrients to plants.
People who buy this suit choose not to use casket in favor of direct burial to the ground. Burial is recommended within 24 hours unless the body is refrigerated. The suggested burial depth for mushroom suit burial is only 4 feet, which ensures that the mushroom will germinate perfectly.
Once buried in a mushroom suit, the biomix of mushrooms will begin to grow from your body, helping decompose your body while eliminating toxins. The toxins will be turned into enzymes that will feed plant forms and enrich the earth. This process saves energy and resources.
Mushroom burial suit is a biodegradable way to leave this world.
The infinity suit causes less pollution and damage to the environment compared with a traditional burial. This natural process of decomposition won’t trickle into the water supply or contaminate plant life.
HOW DOES THE MUSHROOM BURIAL SUIT WORK?
The mushrooms embedded in the suit will start working 24 hours after it’s worn by the deceased. The mushroom will break down the body by emitting enzymes.
The fungi will deactivate the toxins in the body after biosorption while chelating heavy metals, which are unhealthy sources of polutents.
Mycoremediation is the process by which mushroom remove toxic contaminants from the environment.
The mushrooms break down organic toxins by breaking molecular bonds, which neutralizes toxins and breaking it down. In the case of heavy metals, the fungus binds the toxin through chelation, turning the toxins innocuous.
Mushrooms break down organic material and remediate toxins in the soil. This process is also used for cleaning up oil spills and nuclear meltdown.
The mushroom variety that can do this is mostly edible varieties like shiitakes and oyster mushrooms, which are very useful in cleaning the soil.
MUSHROOM BURIAL SUIT FOR GREEN BURIAL
The increasing popularity of green burials is forcing some graveyards and cemeteries to allow this new burial practice.
The mushroom burial suit easily fits in a casket if you want traditional burial. The mushroom biomix will speed up the decomposition process as it uses the wood in the casket as a source of nutrients.
The burial plot must be four feet deep to ensure the mushroom can germinate properly.
The burial can also take place on private property; however, the laws on burying human remains on private property may differ from state to state.
Make sure to check about the legality of your choice before burial.
If you plan to be buried in a mushroom suit, make sure you inform your family about your decision so that they know what to when the time comes.
HOW MUCH DOES A MUSHROOM BURIAL SUIT COST?
Coeio is the only company producing the Infinity Suit. Their mushroom burial suit costs around $1,500. They also offer small burial pouches for pets at $200.
While it is not inexpensive, using a mushroom burial suit cost less than most funerals using a casket. The average funeral cost between $6,000 to $12,000.
BUYING MUSHROOM BURIAL SUIT
To buy Infinity Suit or mushroom burial suit, visit Coeio and follow the instruction on how to purchase a suit. Shipping is free for delivery in 2 to 3 weeks within the U.S.
Once you received the delivery, you must store the suit in a cool, dark location to keep the biomix ready for burial. Leave instructions to your family to dress you in the mushroom suit and bury you in the ground within 24 hours to ensure the mushrooms can germinate properly.
IS MUSHROOM BURIAL SUIT FOR YOU?
People are beginning to be more aware of green burials. If you have an environmentally friendly approach to death, going for a green burial can reduce your carbon footprint upon death.
Using a mushroom burial suit for a green funeral is an excellent alternative to traditional burial. This after-death option can save you money while reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment.
If you decide to go for a mushroom burial suit, talk your plans with your loved ones and let them know why you decided on this funeral alternative. Being honest with your choice will help your family to accept your decision.
HOW CAN FUNERAL FUNDS HELP ME?
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