Western traditional funerals aim to “preserve” life after the living has departed. Using a myriad of toxic chemicals and preservation methods, corpses are often dressed to "look alive".
Undertakers use cosmetics and toxic formaldehyde to slow down the decomposition process. According to Jae Rhim Lee, creator and founder of the Infinity Burial Project, this is a contradiction. In her TedX talk in 2011, Lee says humans are currently trying to preserve their dead bodies – and in doing so they deny death, poison the living and harm the environment.
In addition to the harmful preservation methods, our bodies are already highly toxic when we die. Lee says that our bodies act as filters for chemicals around us and when we pass away those chemical get buried or cremated with us. These include toxins like PBA, a chemical found in plastic and linings of some tin cans and mercury used for fillings.
The Infinity Burial Project or "mushroom death suit" is a wearable suit filled with spores of a hybrid mushroom that will “green” the burial industry. The suit and integrated mushrooms decompose the body at a faster rate; eradicating toxins leaked from our decomposing bodies and delivering nutrients to the growing spores and fauna surrounding the burial plot.
In a recent online interview, co-founder of the project, Mike Ma said they have thousands of people interested in the suit. The first recipient of the suit will be 63-year-old Dennis White who suffers from Primary Progressive Aphasia. After coming to terms with his diagnosis and approaching death, White contacted the Infinity Burial Project to aid with making his funeral greener and eco-friendly.