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Woburn Man Plans To Be Buried In Mushroom Suit

WOBURN (CBS) - We will all, at some point, have to decide, what becomes of us after we die? For some people there's a growing interest in "green" burials.

WBZ-TV spoke with a Woburn man who is planning to be a pioneer in a type of burial that can't be any greener. It's called the mushroom burial suit.

"Love you guys," three generations of Whites shout during a family hug before dinner. Two of Dennis and Maura White's three adult children are over, and so are all three of their grand kids. But it's Dennis WBZ came to see.

Dennis White
Dennis White (WBZ-TV)

"I have a disease called primary progressive aphasia," Dennis tells us in a slow, halting voice. The disease means, as Dennis puts it, that he will die sooner rather than later.

"I have trouble walking, eating, everything," Dennis says. He decided he wants a green burial, to return his body to the soil because he feels cremation pollutes, and a typical burial results in chemicals eventually going into the ground.

Then he saw a Ted Talk by artist Jae Rhim Lee about her idea for a mushroom burial suit, and realized it was for him.

"Because it protects the planet," he says. It's a shroud of sorts with mushroom spores sewn in. When someone is buried in one, the theory is that the mushrooms will speed up decomposition and remove toxins.

Musrhoom suit
Dennis White in mushroom burial suit (Image from COEIO)

And no chemicals are used for embalming. Back to nature, indeed. Dennis will be the first one to try it.

"I was a little apprehensive about the mushroom suit," says Maura White, Dennis' wife. But after a lot of research and discussion, Dennis' family is onboard. "I told my children he always thought outside the box, and now he literally wants to be buried outside the box," Maura says.

Despite the terrible hand Dennis has been dealt, he's enthusiastic about the idea of being a pioneer. He plans to be buried on a forested piece of land in Maine.

A company has been formed called Coeio to research and create what they're calling the Infinity Mushroom Suit.

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