Beyond the grave: Convention shows latest trends in funeral services

The latest trends in funeral services were on display at the Funeral Service Association of Canada's (FSAC) annual convention in Charlottetown.

New trends include eco-friendly caskets and tech savvy mementos

A casket has been designed to commemorate Canada's 150th anniversary. The casket is designed by Northern Casket, based in Ontario, and will be auctioned off for charity. (Al MacCormick/CBC)

The latest trends in funeral services were on display Wednesday in Charlottetown, where the Funeral Service Association of Canada is holding its annual convention.

Yves Berthiaume, president-elect of the association, said the funeral industry is rapidly changing due to technology.

"Technology has changed with video, mementos for the ritual," he said.

This Cadillac was designed to be able to transport the body after death and function as a hearse. (Al MacCormick/CBC)
Fingerprints of the deceased can be recorded and saved to your smart phone through an app, and then placed on a memento of your choosing. (Al MacCormick/CBC)

Berthiaume said technology allows for new elements in funerals such as videos and live feeds where people can share their memories and have it display on a screen.

Urns can be fashioned into almost anything, like a boot, sea shell or water drop. (Al MacCormick/CBC)

Eco-friendly burial

Another growing trend is environmentally friendly burial options.

"People are looking a lot for new alternatives in the funeral industry," said Greg Watier of Bios Canada, a company that sells biodegradable urns that can grow trees using ashes.

"The concept of being able to give back when you'll be gone ... there's a lot of enthusiam." 

Biodegradable urns by Bios have gone viral over the past few years as a more eco-friendly burial option. The urns allow you to grow trees using ashes and cost less than $300. (Al MacCormick/CBC)
These seashell urns are made from biodegradable materials. The urns can be placed in the water where they will initially float, then sink and degrade over time. (Al MacCormick/CBC)

But Watier said these kinds of urns are a big commitment and not for everybody.

"You have to be cautious about where you're going to plant that tree and your capacity to grow that tree."