When you or a loved one dies, you can either opt for a burial, or cremation. Those ashes can then be kept in an urn, spread in a favorite spot…or made into something really cool.
Records. A company called And Vinyly presses cremated ashes into a vinyl record. Along with an album sleeve and label listing the deceased’s name, birth date, and death date, And Vinyly puts the ashes right into the shellac. Customers can choose whether they want music (indie rock is available), soundscapes, a message they record themselves, or just the “pops and crackles” that come with a record. Prices start at about $4,900 for a box of 30 records.
Bullets. Thanks to Holy Smoke, your death doesn’t mean you can’t still go out and hunt and kill animals—they give you “one last hunt” by including cremains in live ammunition. One pound of human remains goes a long way: Holy Smoke can use it to help fill 250 shotgun shells, 100 rifle cartridges, or 125 pistol-reading bullets. Various gauges and styles of ammo are available, from those used in deer hunting down to clay target shooting projectiles. Cost: $1,250 for a case.
Energy. Crematoriums are a big polluter. After all, they burn what’s technically carbon all day long. It’s become such a problem in the U.K. that crematoriums must by law be carbon neutral by 2020. Some are already putting all that heat and energy to good use, which otherwise floats away and is trapped by the atmosphere. The Durham Crematorium in England is offering up its energy, estimating that the heat from a single cremation can power as many as 1,500 televisions. And in In 2011, the Redditch Borough Council in England considered using the power generated by a local crematorium to run the municipal swimming pool. While it’s very “green,” local residents weren’t entirely sold. “It just doesn’t feel right,” said one squeamish skeptic.