Do you want to leave the world of the living by doing a good deed? While traditional burials are a source of pollution, more and more alternatives are emerging to allow the dead to do something for the planet. In the UK, two students have set themselves a major challenge: to provide a funeral service that contributes to the conservation of marine biodiversity. How?’ Or ‘What? By transforming the ashes of the deceased into habitat for oysters. Light on an innovative, ecological and resolutely ingenious device.
At the origin of this project are Louise Lenborg Skajem and Aura Elena Murillo Pérez, two students from the Royal College Art in London and Imperial College London. Eager to develop an ecological alternative to the polluting funeral industry, the two young women founded the start-up Resting Reef, which offers a new concept. Slate†
The principle is simple: after recovering the ashes of a deceased through aquamation, they add crushed oyster shells obtained from partner restaurants. The mixture is converted into a kind of resin that becomes an urn thanks to a 3D printer. The latter is then placed in a marine environment where it is to act as a habitat for the oysters.
85% of oyster reefs have disappeared in the last hundred years
These urns of a new kind are indeed “believed to provide ideal growing conditions for molluscs due to their responsive design and ribbed surface”indicates the new factory† According to the founders of Resting Reef, each capsule can contain up to 100 oysters. The goal is to help these shells regenerate artificial reefs. Over the past hundred years, 85% of natural oyster reefs have been destroyed as a result of overexploitation of coastal areas, recalls Slate† “Most people know that coral reefs are endangered, but oyster reefs are just as important,” Louise Lenborg Skajem assures, quoted by the online media.
And for good reason, oyster reefs are said to act as carbon sinks, helping to absorb pollution from the oceans. Then, by housing a hundred shells, each Resting Reef urn made it possible to: “Capture 2 million kilos of carbon dioxide in three years”, say the founders. In addition to preserving marine biodiversity, these urns would also prevent coastal erosion and protect coastlines from storms. Artificial reefs would be too “furnished in such a way that the next of kin can come together in a pleasant environment”precisely the new factory†
The project of the two students is still in the development phase, but it is possible to pre-register on the Resting Reef website. The two students hope that their idea will soon become reality to provide the dead with a new way to save the living.
What to rest in peace, at sea. Did you like this article? Discover our 7 tips to prepare for your death while staying green.