The trade-show at the National Funeral Directors Association convention in New Orleans being held this week features green burial options such as recycled newspaper coffins, sea-salt urns, and the like. Passages International, a company from Albuquerque introduced biodegradable container in which the body or cremated remains are placed and it will break down quickly without doing harm to the earth around it.
Wicker-like woven caskets are made out of willow, bamboo and sea grass. Urns made of rock-salt, corn-starch, recycled-paper, sand and gelatin dissolve in hours if floated out to sea. The company also sells biodegradable urns and caskets for pets.
The Natural Burial Company of Eugene, Oregon, presented sleek, handmade recycled-paper Ecopod coffins in bright blue, red, green, white or metallic gold. These can be screen-printed with images of doves, Aztec sun designs or Celtic crosses. The interior can be lined with red, white, cream or pale blue feathers. The coffins are manufactured by U.K.-based ARKA Ecopod Inc.,
Canadian funeral homes lag slightly behind their U.S. counterparts in terms of green burial options. Now the idea is set in motion and the interest in green funeral options is growing rapidly.
On Tuesday at the convention, James Olson, funeral director and owner of the Lippert-Olson Funeral Home in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and resident expert on green funeral options for the National Funeral Directors Association will present a seminar entitled ‘It IS Easy Being Green’.