As Greta Thunberg so rightly said: “The moment we decide to fulfill something, we can do anything … you are never too small to make a difference.”
We couldn’t agree more, and that’s why we’re doing our bit to take care of the planet from right here in our own small corner of it. From the anti plastic movement to stopping carbon emissions and stopping production of non-biodegradable products, the world is starting to realise that there really is no plan(et) B – we must start tackling each individual issue from the big ones right down to the small, and this is where we come in.
Our eco-friendly coffins (or, Koffins) are using creativity and innovation to tackle the issue of non-biodegradability in the funeral industry and – by extension – the world. It may seem like a small cog in the very big machine that is our planet, but switching from solid wood to biodegradable coffins can make a gigantic, positive difference to the condition of our planet, from the soil to the air.
What are Koffins made of?
Koffins are about as far from plastic as it gets. Crafted from a combination of recycled paper, plant cellulose and Lignin (a very sturdy bio material), Koffins are an elegant, eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable. They produce no more CO2 when either burnt or buried than plants when they are growing – and don’t require trees – so a brilliant alternative to traditional wooden coffins. And its all made of the same material: Everything, right down to the screws, is entirely biodegradable – not an iota of metal, wood, brass or wax in sight and, most definitely, no plastic.
Modern coffins are traditionally manufactured with plastic liners, but with global plastic production hitting an unbelievable 340m tonnes every year (much of it ending up in the ocean or in landfill) the last thing we ought to be doing is needlessly placing yet more plastic into the ground. Since mass plastic production began six decades ago, over 8.3 billion metric tonnes have been produced and, as plastic takes more than 400 years to biodegrade, most of it still exists today.
With these horrifying statistics in mind, we’ve taken every measure to ensure not one ounce of plastic is involved in the manufacture of Koffins. And, if we had our way, the use of plastic in the funeral industry would go the same way as plastic microbeads and plastic straws – out.
Why does it matter?
Traditional coffins are made (mostly) of wood, and wood is a natural material, so what’s the problem? – we hear you ask. Aside from the additional and very unnatural substances such as glues, waxes, even the solid wood used to build the shell of traditional coffins isn’t as natural or as kind to the environment as you might initially think.
Let’s say you or your loved one chooses to be buried in a wooden coffin. If that coffin is high end, the wood it’s made from likely comes from a felled tree. For us regular folk it’s more likely to have made from MDF or particle board with mixed glues and resins (80% of coffins made in fact). 35 million coffins are made each year – that’s a lot of felled timber and MDF!
Meanwhile, all the other elements such as the glues and varnishes are releasing toxins into the ground, yet still preventing the wood from being broken down naturally and effectively. And on top of these issues can be stacked the damaging effects of mass-harvesting trees for the wood to build the coffins, many of which are exotic and endangered species of wood such as mahogany.
OK, so what about cremation?
Many think that cremation is a greener alternative to burial, though while it does have its benefits, it still has its setbacks where wooden coffins are concerned. Burning a solid wooden coffin requires a great deal of energy and, of course, contributes to air pollution with all the CO2 and fumes from the burning varnishes, glues, plastics and metals. And, what’s even worse, most of the ashes left over from cremation is, in fact, made up of burned remains of the coffin.
It’s because of all this that we decided enough was enough. Let’s abandon the use of plastic and harmful chemicals, let’s abandon the needless release of excess CO2 and toxins into the environment, and let’s think outside the wooden box to create something entirely different. Greta Thunberg believes it’s possible, and so do we. That’s how we arrived at the idea for the Koffin.
How are Koffins different?
As we have already mentioned, the main factor that sets Koffins apart from traditional coffins is the fact that they are 100% biodegradable, right down to the screws that hold it together. Not only are they biodegradable, but they are also made from a combination of recycled and bio materials, so even the production is kinder on the environment. Not a single freshly-felled tree in sight.
When buried, a Koffin will biodegrade like tree bark, meaning there are no stubborn hunks of varnished wood or unnatural materials lingering in the ground for decades on end.
A Koffin also requires far less energy to burn during a cremation, releasing much less CO2 and absolutely no toxic fumes into the atmosphere compared with traditional coffins, due to the entirely natural composition.
So, with time rapidly running out to reverse the damage we, the human race, have inflicted upon our planet, changing attitudes towards all these small elements has become more urgent than ever. The way we bury our loved ones, while highly important and steeped in centuries of tradition, needs to change if we’re going to make our own crucial impact on this much-needed reversal.
The idea behind the Koffin is remove all of the environmental harm, while protecting the future of our planet and determinately retaining all of the love, individuality and care that each of us deserves as we pass on.
Explore the full Koffin range and discover how you can personalise yours or your loved one’s Koffin to reflect their own unique character and personality, while doing your part to care for our planet from the ground, up.