As a generation, we grew up on bikes. We cruised on two wheels. To school, to the park, and if we were feeling particularly brave, we hightailed it past the graveyard.
Now, the vehicle that gave us our childhood freedom could one day deliver us to our final resting spot. Here’s why a French company is operating on pedal-powered hearses.
The Rise Of Eco-friendly Funerals
Eco-friendly funerals are gaining popularity and interest in green burials is on the rise. Isabelle Plumereau hopes to reduce the funeral industry’s collective carbon footprint with good, old-fashioned pedal power.
Plumereau owns and operates The Sky and the Earth, a funeral home in Paris. As more and more customers begin opting for green funerals, she thought it wise to design cargo bikes to carry coffins.
The Corbicyclette, which mashes the French words for hearse—corbillard, and bicycle—bicyclette—has electrical assistance to maneuver steep inclines.
“The Corbicyclette is to propose a new ritual for families that I accompany, especially at the cemetery,” Plumereau said in a Euronews article. The Corbicylette offers “a slow, silent, quiet procession, to the rhythm of the steps of the people who walk behind and who make the procession.”
Green Is The New Black
Black clothing may be symbolic of mourning, but Plumereau says many mourners find comfort in going green.
“For me, it is very important to accompany the families by giving them meaning in the ceremony, but also by giving them beauty. Because beauty is what will also bring comfort,” she said.
For mourners looking for a more somber procession, bicycle-drawn hearses provide a new option. The Corbicyclette rolls out in Paris this fall and similar pedal hearses are already available in the United States.