Cynthia Beal wants to be an Oregon cherry tree after she dies. She has everything to make it happen -- a body, a burial site and a biodegradable coffin.
"It is composting at its best," said Beal, owner of The Natural Burial Co., which will sell a variety of eco-friendly burial products when it opens in January, including the Ecopod, a kayak-shaped coffin made out of recycled newspapers.
Biodegradable coffins are part of a larger trend toward "natural" burials, which require no formaldehyde embalming, cement vaults, chemical lawn treatments or laminated caskets. Advocates say such burials are less damaging to the environment.
Cremation was long considered more environmentally friendly than burials in graveyards. But its use of fossil fuels has raised concerns.