Friday, July 17, 2009

A green finale

So I’m looking at a story from The Associated Press about a green trend involving coffins made from banana leaves or woven bamboo. They take up to two years to decompose and give you a chance to do one last green thing for the planet.

Then I start to feel a little weird and almost guilty because my father-in-law recently died and my father is under hospice care. But their problems have had me thinking a lot harder about what I want when it’s my problem.

So a little research takes me to a Sierra Club Web page that starts a story with “Recycle yourself.”

A link there takes me to an ad for the Ecopod from the Natural Burial Company, made from “sturdy paper-mache made from recycled newspapers and covered in handmade paper of mulberry leaves and recycled silk.” Each one has its own silkscreened design –doves on the blue one, a Celtic cross on the green one, and my favorite, an Aztec sun on the red one.

They say theirs is the pick when “providing for someone’s Last Style Statement.”
Kent Casket Industries offers solid pine coffins and caskets “sourced from sustainable forests” with no stains or “highly toxic glue.” For some reason they also tout no animal products or used, but I’m not going there.

For ease of storage, they are shipped packed as flat panels with easy-to-follow assembly instructions. And don’t forget the rope handles.

But I’m not sure about the NatureBoard™eco coffins from Ecocoffins. They’re “made from a cardboard which contains at least 90% recycled material so if you are looking for an environmentally-friendly funeral ours are accepted at native woodland burial sites, woodland burial sites and traditional graveyards and crematoria. We only use natural starch based glues in assembly.”

No, not cardboard. I played in enough refrigerator boxes as a kid.

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