“Are you waste or are you compost?” This is the question the new coffin maker, Loop of Life, asks people to consider. The company, based out of the Netherlands, makes coffins out of mycelium, which is the vegetative part of a fungus. The goal of the “living” coffins, the company says, is to “help people to become one with nature again.”

These mushroom-root coffins aim to help people feed Earth with their nutrients.

Loop of Life 

The NL Times recently reported on Loop of Life’s coffins, which the company has dubbed Living Cocoons. “The Living Cocoon helps the body to ‘compost’ more efficiently, removes toxic substances and produces richer conditions in which to grow (new) trees and plants,” Loop of Life claims. While bodies would, of course, decompose anyway, the coffin maker says mycelium works as an accelerator for the bacteria breaking down a body. The company also says mycelium can neutralize “the waste products” present in a buried person.

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The Living Cocoons, which weigh approximately as much as an equally sized IKEA cupboard, combine hay or hemp with mycelium. To make the coffins, the team at Loop of Life place the hay or hemp in a wooden box-shaped mold; they then add the mycelium and water it periodically. After a few days, a three-dimensional mushroom-root network grows, which acts like a natural glue. (The growth process is paused when the team stops feeding the network nutrients.)

As the NL Times notes, a woman was recently buried in a Living Cocoon for the first time ever. According to Loop of Life, that means she is now “feeding the Earth with [her] very own nutrients to form a valuable resource for new life to flourish.”

Loop of Life

What do you think about this “Living Cocoon” made of mycelium? Is it worth its roughly $2,400 price tag in your opinion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Feature image: Loop of Life