“Do you want haunted forests? Because that’s how you get haunted forests”

That is a popular meme featuring the cartoon character named Archer, and much like its show, that meme is ahead of its time.

But the new trend is not just for haunted forests in Washington, but possibly haunted mushroom gardens, haunted ocean reefs, haunted water, and haunted satellites!

Washington map with ghostly images on it.

Okay, forgetting all about things possibly being haunted, this is a pretty neat and eco-friendly idea. And before you make any jokes about the generation eating tide pods wanting to become different type of pods after they die, there is a lot of great thought behind these new alternatives to traditional burial or cremation.

Choice Mutual surveyed 6,000 people about their post-mortem journey, especially when it comes to non-traditional means.  Among Washingtonians, a vast majority favored the Tree Pod Burial option compared to other non-traditional practices. This makes sense, especially for the Evergreen State.

What is a Tree Pod Burial & Other Post-Mortem Alternatives?

What is a Tree Pod Burial? Instead of a casket and tombstone, you're buried in a biodegradable pod, and a tree is planted above you. So as your body decomposes, it can nourish the tree.


The 2nd and 3rd most popular forms of non-traditional burials for Washington residents goes really green. #2 is called Green Burials and #3 is Human Composting. The main difference between the two is with Green Burials, there is no embalming process, and you’re buried in a biodegradable casket (or shroud), so that the body may decompose more naturally and return to earth. With Human Composting, instead of you being buried in the ground, you’re placed in a special container with other compost, to BECOME compost (mmmm… haunted tomato plants).


#4 is not for me, mainly because I’m allergic to mushrooms, but then again, if I’m no longer living, I shouldn’t have a problem. “Mushroom Suits” is the practice of burying the body in a shroud embedded with mushroom spores. The mushrooms help decompose the body and help with any toxins that may be released during the process.

Mario upon his arrival in the Mushroom Kingdom
Illumination, Nintendo

I’ve heard of people wanting to have their ashes scattered in the ocean, but the #5 choice is taking it up a notch. Memorial Reefs is now a choice for non-traditional burials. Mixing your remains with environmentally safe cement and putting it in a body of water to help marine life.


#6 is the choice I’d love. To boldly go where so very few has gone before. SPACE! Yeah, this option is becoming more popular and more affordable. You can join the ranks of Star Trek’s James Doohan (Montgomery “Scotty” Scott) and have part of your remains sent up into the final frontier.


And the least popular non-traditional form of burial to Washingtonians is a practice called Aquamation. Think of cremation, but instead of heat, it uses water and lye to break down the body.


So why the focus on non-traditional post-mortem preferences? Cost definitely plays a big part of it, but also the ability to “leave a lasting positive impact on the planet” according to Anthony Martin from Choice Mutual. “It's about connecting with the earth and fulfilling a legacy that honors both environmental values and personal beliefs.”

To check out the full breakdown, including end of life expenses, more alternatives, and ways that other states feel about burial alternatives, click here. Would you rather have one of these alternatives compared to the traditional? Tap the App and let us know.

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