Coconut pyres to save trees | Fusion - WeRIndia

Coconut pyres to save trees

Coconut pyres to save trees

A unique new initiative has been started to reduce the wood consumption for burning dead bodies. It is the Kasi Pasumai Yatra that started in Coimbatore recently. The initiative is to use coconut shells from garbage heaps. They are collected, powdered, packed, and sent to Varanasi.

These coconut shells will be used in place of wood in pyres. This helps reduce the consumption of wood. As per a study by Mr. R Nithyanandam, the founder of the initiative, there are approximately 400 bodies burnt on the banks of the Ganga River every day. In order to burn the bodies, wood from around 5 lakh trees is required.

Using the alternative of coconuts instead of traditional pyres, wood consumption can be reduced by as much as 300 kg per pyre.

To start with, Nithyanandam and his team collected 140 tonnes of coconut shell powder and sent it to Varanasi. This collection would be enough to burn around 2800 dead bodies. This saves as much as 840 tonnes of wood.


Nithyanandam and his team of 14 members had to work very hard to start this program. He researched about this well by visiting Varanasi more than 12 times and enquiring locals about the pyres. Of course, his ideas did not gain much interest from the locals.

In order to push this further, he even used his own money of Rs 35 lakh. He along with his team also worked hard to collect coconuts. The team travelled in two-wheelers and collected coconut shells from homes, colleges, hotels, marriage halls, etc. They even had to develop the right formula for the pyres.

At first, Nithyanandam wanted to use coconut shells as is. However, the problem was that they still needed a lot of firewood that way. Hence, they got the idea to powder the shells.

They used a mixture of 50 kg coconut shell powder and 50 kg firewood. It was enough to cremate a body. This saved about 300 kg of firewood per body.

Image Reference: TheBetterIndia

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