Now there’s a new way to celebrate the life of a loved one, as well as give back to the environment. ‘Cemetrees’, trees grown with their roots tapped into a decaying corpse, are the latest trend to hit the posthumous.
“We mourn the dead, and cemeteries are a reflection of the sorrow felt for the lives lost looking like a sea of granite tombstones, cold and lifeless. Once the tears have dried, the celebration of the life can begin. That’s where cemetrees come in,” says Sarah Gallagher, founder of the new concept, “Why lock the blood and bone, which is excellent fertilizer, inside a casket that will take decades or even centuries to break down?”
Not just any tree will do. Sarah has specially selected a variety of shrubbery that can be safely planted without disrupting neighbouring plots.
“We get a lot of calls for evergreens, but some people like the idea of a deciduous. Fruit trees are becoming popular, mostly dwarf pear and apple, but some citrus varieties as well. They need to be pruned once in a while, so they don’t overreach the plot boundaries.”
Asked whether there was any issue eating the fruit that came from the trees ‘grown by grandpa’, Sarah replies, “That’s a matter of taste.”
Nature has inspired town planners in an unusual way. The hexagonal pattern of honey-comb is chosen by bees for the close-packed arrangement and efficient use of space and this has led city designers to create plans for blocks to be six sided.
A new ‘hexasect’ street system is being trialed in China in a bid to curb traffic before it begins. The ‘hexasect’ design was first suggested over a decade ago, yet only recently, with the aid of advanced computer generated trials, it has been shown that congestion can be reduced by more than a quarter compared with traditional square or Cartesian based road systems.
“It’s counter-intuitive to the way we would normally plan a city,” Xian Xiao, spokesperson for the HUA group in charge of planning the new town, “Yet the simulations show that there is no better way. Roads with one and only one intersection and a clear set of rules reduces the need for negotiation. It scales incredibly well.”
The new concept also allows for tighter packing of building, reducing the strain on infrastructure, leading to a more efficient city that is cheaper overall to operate.
“The naming of streets may take some getting used to, since there are no long-running streets, however we are confident that this is a minor drawback to a very enticing prospect.”