Business offers funeral service in mushroom-filled coffin

A Dutch company is offering a funeral service on a zipline after a man tried a coffin made from fungi – the idea came to it thanks to his wife.

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Netherlands-based Bak Prodics, which specialises in providing funeral services in unusual and beautiful surroundings, is the first firm to attempt to create a carbon-neutral funeral using saplings and mushrooms.

“I was just getting out of hospital because my wife brought me a mushroom coffin,” one of the services’ creators, Peter van der Hurst, told AFP.

“I could see the mushroom growing, and all of a sudden my whole life changed. The life you live in the mortuary is the same life you live outside the mortuary. The secret to making the best experience is to honour this person. We’ve combined a lot of fun and touches with a beautiful green leaf,” he said.

In this case, that leaf was the mushroom – and after a few leaf sips a plastic chamber was affixed to the mushroom and floated away into the sky.

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Van der Hurst is offering these activities as part of a host of unusual funeral experiences, including the inevitable one of cremation with a viewpoint over Amsterdam, which the firm is billing as the world’s first green cremation.

“We are not talking about a funeral service. We’re talking about a magic experience,” he said. “It is the symbol of a new lifestyle, a new beginning, all delivered in a beautiful environment with an ecological focus,” he said.

The start-up business is dedicated to making the “life of a mortuary private and free from interference”, and in partnership with the Green Party of the Netherlands it also plans to offer a funeral package containing a tree.

These will be delivered on behalf of the family to the bush where the deceased lived.

“They can enjoy the protection of nature. They can watch them grow and admire them while still alive,” said van der Hurst.

The firm intends to perform 2,000 funerals a year at facilities across the country.

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