Biodegradable Coffins, "Composting At Its Best"

Biodegradable coffins allow you to rest in peace without putting a permanent dent in the planet or your wallet.

Cremation was long considered more environmentally friendly than burials in graveyards, but its use of fossil fuels has raised concerns.

Eco-friendly burials have been popular in Britain for years, but industry experts say it’s starting to catch on in the U.S., where “green” cemeteries hosting natural burials have sprouted up in California, Florida, New York, South Carolina and Texas.

The majority of eco-friendly burial products come from overseas – including the Ecopod, which is made in the United Kingdom – although there are a few domestic makers. Options range from natural-fiber shrouds to fair-trade bamboo caskets lined with unbleached cotton. There are also more traditional-looking handcrafted coffins made of wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Basic cardboard models sell for as little as $100, and probably fold neatly for storage in your basement. Snazzier hand-painted models fetch up to $3,000.

Protecting the earth after death: Biodegradable coffins [AP]
(Photo: Edward All ?s)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.