How to Have a Green Death

green coffinsPrepare to embrace a new trend in burials: the green coffin. After decades of boxing up our dead in water-proof, steel, wood, or other non-decaying substances, a sea change in the world of death is happening all over the globe. Realizing that there is limited space on earth, and that our dead will begin to crowd out the living, a plethora of bio-degradable coffins are hitting the market, and people are lining up to buy the green options. Which, incidentally, are less expensive than the traditional models.

Would you want to be wrapped up in wool? Or buried in bamboo? Check out these green coffins and burial methods from around the world.

Creative Coffins

This option is a win-win for the environment and for those looking for a personalized coffin (seen above). Creative Coffins will print anything you like on your final resting place, including sports teams, favorite foods, scenes from nature, all on their non-toxic cardboard, with 60% recycled pulp being used in this eco box.

Wool Coffin

Time featured this option that's gaining popularity in the UK. In addition to helping out the textile industry, the biodegradable wool coffin is less expensive than a steel model and somewhat comforting.

Recycled Paper

The Natural Death Centre in the UK offers many eco-burial options. This recycled paper coffin serves two purposes -- recycling paper and biodegradable coffins. Scroll through this slideshow for even more interesting eco-friendly options, including bamboo, willow, and recycled paper.

Bio-Cremation

I've already decided on cremation, which is in itself a way to take up less space after you've died. But another (illegal in the U.S. right now) method of cremation that's a more eco-friendly way to contain contaminants, unlike the current method of burning, is the liquid cremation called bio-cremation. While the Mayo Clinic uses this method to dispose of cadavers used in research, and veterinarians use this method as well -- it's still not regulated for humans in the U.S. But a few states are working towards getting this method mainstream and legal.

Of course, in looking forward, it's also good to look backwards and see what our ancestors did that we might want to re-consider in our quest to go green in life, and death. Whether it's burning on a pyre or shipping the elderly off to sea (just kidding, mom) -- we're going to need to stop burying giant steel boxes and look for more earth-friendly options before we run out of space.

Would you use any of these eco burial methods?

 

Image via Creative Coffins

natural health, spirituality, death