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At our natural burial grounds in keeping with our ethos, chipboard veneered and MDF coffins are not acceptable.
There are now many different types of eco-coffins which can be obtained via your funeral director or in some cases directly from the manufacturer. Examples include: -
Wicker and Woven coffins
These beautifully crafted coffins are becoming a more popular choice as funerals become less traditional and people more aware of the wide variety of coffins available. Many companies provide them - Somerset Willow for example, grow and weave their own willow and have been making baskets for generations. The recent popularity of willow coffins has provided an essential source of business for a craft which is otherwise threatened by cheap foreign imports. Other materials that can be used are bamboo, pandanus, seagrass, banana leaf and water hyacinth.
A cardboard coffin is a strong, sturdy but lightweight coffin which has been developed to meet the needs of those who prefer an environmentally friendly and biodegradeable coffin. Over the last few years the demand for 'greener' and less wasteful funerals has increased dramatically. There are a variety of cardboard coffins available, they are easily personalised and come in variety of designs and colours. It is possible to make personalise the coffin with photographs you can email to the manufacturer. You could even decorate it yourself with old birthday cards and photos or write messages on them.
The Sunset coffin is made from board which is 100% recycled newsprint using biodegradable pigments and binders. All offcuts go back for further recycling. Because the board is paper based it can be decorated by family and friends to add that personal touch.
Woollen and Cotton Coffins
Made in Yorkshire from a combination of sheep wool and organic cotton, over a cardboard frame hemmed with blanket stitch. Fully biodegradable and offers a soft and gentle alternative to the more traditional materials available.
Sustainable wooden coffins
Coffins made out of sustainably sourced timber are also accepted, especially if finished in bees wax or natural oils. These should be available from your local funeral director.
Jute Coffins & Jute Shrouds
J Funerals coffins are unique in using jute board, made by mixing plant fibres with natural starch and then compressing it to create a strong, biodegradable coffin.
Decorate your coffin
A group of young friends (pictured right) are decorating a plain white cardboard coffin. The finished result transformed the undecorated coffin into a colourful meadow scene.
Ideas for decoration...
Paste on photographs, colourful tissue paper, petals, card models, a collection of Valentine cards, poetry even a plain colour paint. Whatever the family and friends want to do to personalise the coffin.
Bellacouche produces felt shrouds, the most commonly used is the 'Leafcocoon' (pictured right). The woollen shroud is strapped to a strong wood-framed base and enfolded in many layers of thick felt giving the cocoon a smooth outline. Upper cover design options include trees and butterflies and the top layer can be removed before burial and kept.
...and for cremated remains
Sustainable ARKA Acorn Urn
The Acorn Urn is made from recycled paper. It is a subtle, simple and fully biodegradable so the ashes can be buried in it.
Ceramic memorial urns
These provide a lasting memorial or an appropriate vessel and can be inscribed.