“Nature is really good at this dying thing.”

Katrina Spade

Episode 21: Katrina Spade – The Urban Death Project

“Death is momentous, miraculous, and mysterious.  The cycles of nature help us grieve and heal.  Our bodies are full of life-giving potential.”―Katrina Spade, Urban Death Project

Can we redesign our burial rituals to give back to nature?  In death, is there a way to fortify and nurture the earth through our life-giving potential?  Can we redefine the meaning of “going green,” for the next generation to encompass future interment options?  Katrina Spade says, “Absolutely!”

Over 2 million caskets are buried each year, constituting more than 10,000 bodies per acre.  Take into account there are over 30 million feet of hardwood and 1.6 million tons of concrete that include 750,000 gallons of embalming fluid and enough metal to build the Golden Gate Bridge. This is what we give back to nature every year when we bury our loved ones.

Katrina, founder and executive director of the Urban Death Project, is redesigning the death care industry.  She has developed a new system for gently and sustainably disposing of the dead using the process of composting.  Focusing on her human-centered, ecological, and architectural solutions for changing the burial process, Katrina is providing another burial alternative that nurtures the cycles of nature.

Today, we are introduced to the Urban Death Project.