Tasmania, the Australian island, is making the news due to its eco-friendly and softer approach to funerals. Their Community Coffin Club started practicing the flat pack coffin alternative.
Death is a subject that concerns us, the living. Our views on death and the rituals surrounding it have evolved as we have.
Egyptian era was known for burying their dead in sarcophaguses, stone coffins with hieroglyphics where the story of the deceased was written.
In medieval times, the wooden coffins appeared, but it wasn’t until the American Civil War that these coffins were introduced in the west to transport the dead bodies of the soldiers.
The coffins we use today-six sides and caskets-four sides, resemble the ones used in the Victorian era when funerals were considered an expensive and fancy event. They decorated the coffins with brass handles, breast plates, etc.
The Coffin Business’s Negative Impact on Planet Earth
Today, the coffins sold are usually treated wood products with a lot of synthetic glues, paint, and varnishes included. All of them contain quite the list of toxins. And, they’re not biodegradable or sustainable.
But, with the rise of people’s awareness about our footprint, we’re trying to live more sustainably, and this includes changing the coffins used for burials.
The WHO notes that more than 100 people in the world die every minutes and this number was 56 million in 2015. These numbers are expected to rise by 25 percent by 2030.
Although cremation is considered less harmful on the environment than burials in modern coffins, it’s not the eco-friendlier option out there.
It still uses a lot of energy and also releases greenhouse gases.
The Flat Pack Coffin: Eco Friendly & Good for the Grieving Process
Several companies globally are focused on creating eco-friendlier options for burials, including these flat pack coffins.
They’re eco-friendly and also good for the grieving process, according to Jenny Cox who recently lost her brother in law and thought that this coffin would be in line with his life values.
She explains how he was a strong environmentalist who loved nature. Flat pack coffins are also good to avert the high costs for funerals that can range from $4000 to $20000 in the US.
They chose this coffin made from bioboard which is compostable. Phil Gregg was a veteran from Vietnam and a comic book lover.
They painted the Phantom on the coffin because he collected Phantom comics for 50 years. Cox explains that this coffin helped them grieve easier and heal faster. Painting helped them calm down and focus.
The Club in the north west of Tasmania usually makes coffins out of wood; however, the members are now trying to reduce the funeral costs.
This is the 3rd coffin that Jenny Cox painted for loved ones in her life. She notes how a person feels helpless when they lose someone and how everyone offers help; however, there really isn’t anything we can do.
So, this painting helps reduce the stress and do something in honor of the person. Talking about the design they would draw and the whole processed helped the family’s grieving process.
Cardboard flat pack coffins are indeed cheaper, decorative, and bring people together.