Kick the bucket, become a tree


In Los Angeles, a company that manufactures biodegradable urns that turn cremated human remains into trees is expanding its offering to include a smart planter that tracks growth.

Launched in 2013, Bios Urn’s biodegradable urns work by using a biodegradable layer to separate cremated remains—which contain no nutrients for seeds and have a pH detrimental to plant growth—from a chamber with the seeds and nutrients. Once the root system is strong enough, that barrier dissolves.

The new smart planter, dubbed Incube, helps ensure the plant’s health in the early stages and tracks its progress for the bereaved. It inlcudes a sensor that measures things like soil moisture and humidity. “It’s almost like an interactive grief process,” Jill Shock, a Los Angeles-based death doula, tells Wired magazine.