I am in the middle of acquiring a coffin, and not just any coffin, one that is environmentally friendly.
This LifeArt coffin is not only spectacular looking, it is also made from almost 100% recycled materials, and will break down easily once in the ground. It has just been on display in the Museum as part of the Sydney Design 09 festival.
The act of burying the dead dates back to the very first Homo-sapiens who dug out shallow graves. Since then different cultures and religions have evolved to perform a variety of rituals and burial practices such as cremation, sky burials, mummification, burial at sea, or even cryonics!. But one of the most popular in western culture today is to bury a body inside a coffin, or casket, in a cemetery
Coffins have traditionally been made to protect the body, and thus been made out of strong materials such as steel and hardwood. These coffins not only take up a large amount of ground space (something most countries are running short of) they use a large amount of non-recycled material and can contain environmentally harmful chemicals that can leach into the ground.
Since I’ve been researching coffins I have been exposed to a few new ‘green’ ways to be buried:
The Swedish have come up with something called Promession, which is a way to freeze dry human remains. The body is submerged in liquid nitrogen, then slighty vibrated, the end result is a fine powder.
The powder can then be used to help plant a tree, placed in an environmentally friendly casket, or buried directly into the soil.
A Queensland council has taken the idea of natural burials one step further. You can now be buried in a cardboard coffin (or without a coffin at all) in bushland, and the position geo-tagged, so family and friends could return to the site. Information such as family pictures, biographies, and even letters can be attached to the GPS marker and retrieved with a handheld GPS system.
While it’s not for everyone, cardboard coffins are a good way to be ‘green in death’ as well as in life!
I want to be returned to the earth as naturally as possible after I die, being buried in bushland doesnt sound like a bad idea!
I want to know what you would like to happen to you after you die? Does your religion or culture dictate what will happen to your body? would you make an effort to ‘go green’?