Confessions of a Compulsive Organizer

Eco-Friendly Casket Options

by Ricardo Hart

There are options available if you want an eco-friendly burial option. This is especially useful if you want a burial instead of the usual green cremation option. The following are a few options to consider.

Option #1: The cardboard casket

Many funeral homes have a minimum casket requirement, and a cardboard casket usually meets this requirement. The cardboard casket biodegrades quickly and there are companies that practice green manufacturing processes, such as using recycled cardboard construction. A cardboard casket can even be worked into the mourning rituals of your family and friends, since they can easily draw and write on it.

Option #2: Burial shrouds

Burial shrouds are made of natural fibers, such as cotton or wool, so they break down quickly once buried. These can be custom made with stitched designs or even words to honor the deceased. Unlike cardboard coffins, these may not be as widely accepted by cemeteries or funeral homes. You may need to shop around in advance to find a cemetery that allows shroud burial. In some cases, they may require you to rent a casket for the service but will then perform the actual burial without a casket.

Option #3: Wicker caskets

These can be one of the most beautiful of the custom eco-friendly casket options. These are made of woven grasses or reeds, which are a renewable resource and also highly biodegradable. They are more expensive than cardboard or shroud options, but the craftsmanship of these caskets makes them well worth the expense. Opt for unpainted and unfinished wicker options to ensure the casket is as green as possible. Wicker caskets are usually lined, so make sure the lining option is also of a sustainable material, such as biodegradable linen, bamboo, or cotton fabric.

Option #: Soft wood

If you prefer a more traditional wood casket, choose soft wood over hardwood. Soft wood biodegrades more quickly. Just make sure the coffin you choose is from sustainably-grown and harvested wood. Also, avoid paints, finishes, and metal hardware where possible. Attractive natural finishes and waxes are available. You can also opt for handles and hardware made from leather or natural fibers. One benefit of soft wood caskets is that the design can be fully customized with carvings and accessories to fit your needs and preferences.

For ore help in locating the best sustainable and ecology sound casket option, or simply for help in planning an eco-friendly funeral, contact a supplier of custom caskets or a funeral home in your area.