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This biodegradable urn uses your ashes to grow a tree

In an attempt to make death a little less scary, startups in recent years have started expanding our alternative options to traditional burial rituals. For example, Bios Urn is a biodegradable urn designed to convert your cremated remains into a tree after you die. Now, the Bios Urn team has decided to make their biodegradable burial system available to even more people with Bios Incube, a tree growth and monitoring system that lets you plant your Bios Urn in your own home.

The original idea behind Bios Urn was to turn cemeteries into forests, and improve the sustainable and eco-friendly factors of traditional burials. Bios Incube makes the experience a little more personal, which may actually appeal to some people. The system allows you to grow a tree from the remains of a loved one, and keep the plant close by instead of in a forest you might have to travel long distances to visit. The technology in the Bios Incube monitoring system includes a series of sensors so that once you plant your Bios Urn inside the container, the system should be able to help the tree thrive automatically.

Related: Why waste a coffin when you can decompose in a ‘mushroom death suit’?

The sensor sits on top of the surface of the soil that covers the Bios Urn, and includes a thermometer, hydration and humidity meters, light exposure and soil conductivity sensors, and more. Since it’s attached to a water reservoir, Bios Incube can automatically water your tree to the perfect hydration levels based on its species and environment. The idea here seems to be that since the tree is planted from human remains, it’s a big deal if you let the tree die. Bios Incube delivers notifications to a mobile app on your smart phone so you can make sure your tree gets the sunlight and ambient humidity it needs to thrive (which the system can’t tend to on its own).

Bios Incube is currently crowdfunding support through a Kickstarter campaign. The funding goal is just over $66,000, and with about a month to go it looks like Bios Incube is fast approaching the halfway mark. Backers who pledge about $132 will get their own Bios Urn and a choice of seeds, and backers who pledge $385 will earn a Bios Incube. Other cool perks include Bios swag like stickers and t-shirts, to help promote their #lifeafterlife motto. If all goes according to plan, Bios Incube will ship to backers in November 2016.