As concerns about our ecological footprint grow, many of us continue to examine and question aspects of our everyday lives that, though commonly accepted through years of custom and habit, may be changing to better reflect the current fragile state of our planet. We have had the misfortune to lose family members and close friends before their time, which have turned our attention in recent years to the issues surrounding burials and cremations.
Over the years, many people have also written to us about ecologically sustainable burials and cremations. They asked us for information we may have, and they shared with us their own experiences and those of others they knew. We did a bit of research and have been pleased to find many alternatives for those of us who are averse to excessive chemicalizations of our world in life and in death.
Experiments are going on all over the world in hopes of reducing our footprints as much as possible in the process of saying the ultimate goodbye to loved ones.
Alternatives to traditional varnished wood and particle board caskets and coffins have been found in those made from card board, reeds, and willow.
Glen, a local artisan willow basket weaver, has become very interested in making willow caskets and coffins. He grows and processes his own willows, which are completely free of any chemicals or fertilizers. He makes everything by hand right here on our island in BC, Canada. The willow coffin is naturally resilient and strong, and our organic hemp ropes are used for trims and handles. He makes them to order in different sizes. At present the eco willow - hemp coffins are not offered for purchase to be freighted, as local demand is more than enough for this single-artisan workshop. At the time of this writing, the willow - hemp coffins cost between $1,200 - $1,600, depending on the size. They are works of art, multi-colored (or uni-colored as per preference — he grows different types of willows ranging in color from deep red to bright yellow to muted browns and greens) and many people actually use them as standing chests or storage chests. For an additional fee, the completely biodegradable willow-hemp caskets and coffins can be lined with organic cotton fabric as well.
Handmade willow coffin - casket with organic hemp liner and hemp rope handles and trims.