‘Greener goodbyes’: Undertaker introduces pedal-powered hearse

Thinking of ‘cycling through the streets of Paris’ paints a near perfect picture of charming laneways with an abundance of cafés, the sounds of an accordion bouncing off stone buildings rich with architecture and – if one business owner has anything to do with it – funerals.

Thinking of ‘cycling through the streets of Paris’ paints a near perfect picture of charming laneways with an abundance of cafés, the sounds of an accordion bouncing off stone buildings rich with architecture and – if one business owner has anything to do with it – funerals.

Parisian undertaker Isabelle Plumerau added a ‘green’ touch to her business when she introduced what she considers France’s first bicycle hearse – a low-carbon solution addressing a growing trend of having quieter, environmentally conscious burials.

Combining the bicycle and the hearse made sense to Ms Plumereau as she felt bicycles in Paris equate to soft mobility and that ‘softness’ is much needed when accompanying a loved one to their final resting place.

“Everyone walks at the same pace (behind a bicycle hearse) and we hear each other, we hear the sounds of nature around us, the wind in the trees, the birds. In my view this is the best way to console yourself,” she said.

While the idea may be new to France, it certainly has made headway in the UK and other European nations including Switzerland and Denmark.

According to the 51-year-old undertaker, the bicycle hearse has received official authorisations for its use and, barring insurance approvals, is ready to transport its first client. Although, Ms Plumereau has already paraded her coffin-carrying creation around the French capital.

With ‘Le Ciel & La Terre’ (roughly translating to ‘The Sky & The Earth’) imprinted on its sides, the bicycle hearse did not fail to catch the attention of passersby, including one 49-year-old who though it was ‘innovative’ but added that it was not what he had in mind for his funeral.

Who knew…the stairway to heaven could be just a bike ride away.

 

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