Image credit: Final Footprint
I was once told by a commenter that writing about green funerals was taking environmentalism too far. But with 500,000 deaths in the US alone every year - the funeral industry has a huge environmental impact. Luckily, there are plenty of companies out there looking to make a difference. From jute coffins to sleek paper caskets to woodland burials - our end-of-life options are expanding. So much so that I even wrote a complete guide on How to Green Your Funeral. Now another company has come to my attention - offering not just greener funeral options, but a unique way to celebrate the life of the departed too...From pine to banana leaf to bamboo, California-based Final Footprint have a fantastic range of biodegradable coffins that will return to the Earth quickly and harmlessly. In fact, they've even had celebrity clients - actor David Carradine was buried in one of their solid bamboo caskets. But it's perhaps their cardboard caskets that are most intriguing - and particularly what they suggest doing with them.
Founder Jane Hillhouse suggests decorating urns and caskets with art, poetry, whatever - things that symbolize what the departed has enjoyed in their life. It's a beautiful idea. Presumably this can either be done in advance - we decorate our own coffins so when the time comes, they are an expression of ourselves - or by relatives as part of the grieving process. For those interested in learning more, on November 7th Hillhouse will be leading a casket painting workshop at the Green Funeral Fair in Berkeley.
A great service. but one I hope I won't need to use any time soon.