Basket Coffins

Baskets and coffins are two words that are not normally associated with each other. After all, when you hear the word ‘basket’ you probably think of picnics and flowers; and coffins, well it reminds people of death because that’s what we use for burying the dead. Basket coffins are the latest innovation in the eco-friendly movement. Most people are probably not aware of the environmental impacts that something as traditional and innocuous as a burial can bring. 

What Do Basket Coffins Look Like?

Basket coffins are actually quite pretty, no disrespect meant for the dead here. But unlike the somber mood that a traditional casket or coffin gives off, these beautifully adorned receptacles make you feel lighter and more at peace when you look at them. Unlike the traditional casket, which is more popular in the United States, basket coffins follow the same silhouette of the toe-pincher type coffins (although the base is not as narrow as the wooden models). Made of biodegradable materials such as willow, the intricate weave of basket coffins are the perfect companion to the lush surroundings that you get with a green burial. Unlike other coffin types, every part of the basket coffins are biodegradable—not just the body. Even the handles and adornments are carefully chosen so that they will not harm the environment. The colors of the basket coffins can range from light sand to the more refreshing white. Basket coffins are usually embellished with bouquets or garlands of flowers, which enhances the appearance of the coffin without deviating from their earth-friendliness.

Advantages of Having a Green Burial

Green burials are something that is a bit new but is slowly getting recognition as a more viable option over traditional burials and cremations. A green burial is not only better for the environment (the burial site does not need to be developed and will remain as natural as possible and no harmful chemicals like embalming fluids will be contaminating the earth) but it is also a less expensive alternative to traditional burial. By opting for a natural burial, you are allowing nature to take its course without having to do constant maintenance. There are several sites in the US where you can have a green burial. Here is a list of the ones that are currently operational:

  • Green Springs Natural Cemetery
  • Forever Fernwood
  • Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve
  • Ramsey Creek Preserve
  • White Eagle Memorial Preserve
  • Foxfield Preserve
  • Honey Creek Woodlands
  • Eternal Rest Memories Park
  • Cedarbrook Burial Ground

Basket Coffins and Green Burial

A solid wood casket cannot be used for green burials. For one thing, it will take a long time to decompose and some elements of the casket are not even biodegradable (the medal handles and ornamentations). For green burials, basket coffins (or those made from other biodegradable materials), shrouds, or blankets are the ones commonly used to contain the body. It is not unusual for families to request that the garlands that will adorn the basket coffins be made to complement the existing wildlife of the burial site.