Advantages and Limitations of Cardboard Caskets

It is strange but true, cardboard caskets are now a new alternative to traditional coffins. After nearly 30 years of acceptance in Northern European countries, their popularity is now on the rise in the USA also.

Following a recent post on What Is the Most Environmentally Friendly Funeral, we will now have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of cardboard casket.

Advantages of Cardboard casket:

Environmentally friendly manufacturing

The manufacturing of cardboard caskets is much simpler than that of wooden caskets. It is also more ecological:

The different elements of the box are assembled by folding and gluing.
These elements are made of recycled cardboard.
For the assembly, the glues used are made from corn and potato starch and are totally biodegradable.

Good to know: it is entirely possible to assemble a cardboard casket yourself. These can be delivered in pieces, with instructions. No additional tools are required.

A unique casket

Cardboard caskets have the advantage of being customizable. It is indeed possible to:

choose motives, drawings, paintings, or inscriptions to decorate the outside of the coffin;
improve the interior by adding cushions or fleece.

Attention: the law imposes characteristics of resistance, waterproofing, the biodegradability of the casket when it is intended for burial.

Cardboard casket: light and solid

A cardboard casket weighs three times less than a wooden casket:

Its weight is about 10 kilos, compared to the traditional 50 kilos.
However, depending on the model, a cardboard casket can withstand loads of 130 to 200 kilos.

Competitive prices

These new caskets cost about 5 times less than traditional caskets:

The initial prices start at $100.
The average price is $300.
Quality and personalized cardboard casket can cost up to $600.
Solid wood caskets, on the other hand, are sold at prices ranging from $800 to $3,000!

Cardboard casket: an ecological solution

Greener materials

To make a cardboard casket, biodegradable recycled cardboard and non-polluting glues are used. This allows us to respect the environment, whatever the method of burial chosen:

In case of burial:
◦ The bio-degradation of the casket takes only one year, whereas that of a wooden casket can last up to 10 or 15 years.
◦ The amount of wood used to make a cardboard casket is divided by 8 compared to a traditional casket.

In the case of cremation (when burned), a cardboard casket contains fewer toxic substances than a traditional casket:
◦ no fluorine ;
◦ low in nitrogen oxide ;
◦ no emanation of heavy metals.

All in all, making cardboard caskets would save:

thousands of km² of a forest;
millions of healthy trees;
millions of cubic meters of water;
millions of liters of fuel oil.

Cardboard coffins: limits

Despite the approval of the Ministry of the Interior, cardboard caskets are prohibited in some crematoria:

As these caskets do not participate in their own combustion, it is necessary to inject gas to complete it. It is then more polluting. The consumption necessary to burn a cardboard coffin is thus higher than that necessary to burn a wooden coffin (10 kW more).
Once incinerated, cardboard caskets emit as much dust as a wooden casket.

Please note: if cardboard caskets comply with the standards, crematoriums are required to accept them.

Good to know: in Scandinavia, coffins made from papier-mâché are currently being tested. They could be another environmentally friendly alternative to traditional wooden coffins.

Hoping that this post has given you a complete vision to understand the subject and the essential information to make the right choices.

8 Incredible Tips for a Nature-Friendly Wedding

First comes love, then comes wedding planning… Weddings don’t have to be wasteful. But that doesn’t mean you should wear a dress made of oats, offer a cake made out of raw sprouts, or skip on the things you love like florals, centerpieces, a gorgeous ring, or darling invitation suite – but you can opt for these small changes, so you create less of a carbon footprint! Talking about carbon footprints, green weddings are now becoming a thing! When it comes to preserving Planet Earth, everyone wants to do the right thing. There are so many new technologies and innovations that are making eco-friendly alternatives more accessible than ever.

But when it comes to planning the Big Day, we worry that being environmentally correct will mean sacrificing our cherished wedding vision. Luckily, you no longer have to wrestle with your conscience to have a celebration that is both beautiful and “green”—or at least, green-ish. Your wedding should be a reflection of you as a couple, including your style, love story, and values. And if living an eco-friendly lifestyle is important to you and your partner, your nuptials should relay that.

After all those months of planning your engagement and the wedding, it’s time for the final segment- your reception night. And just like you chose to go green for your wedding as well as your engagement theme, why not doing an eco-friendly reception too? To help make that happen, we’ve put together a guide with some stylish, sagacious and yet nature-friendly ways you can make your Big Day eco-friendly. From reception catering to your bridal outfits, we’ve got everything covered- Green themed! Check it out!

#1. Save Trees with Your Invitation Choice!

The easiest way to go green is through the invitations. “You can do a digital invitation for casual weddings to a high-end couture invitation on recycled cotton

#2. Wear Something Greener, but Chic!

You don’t have to sacrifice glamour to both look good and do good! Erase the picture of a “Bride in Birkenstocks” with a wreath of dried flowers on her head. The modern bride wears her “green” with panache. Most designer gowns are already made of a natural fiber—silk! Other green—er, white—options are hemp/silk blends and organic cotton, which go well with Victorian, Renaissance, or garden weddings.

When shopping for your wedding dress, keep in mind the famous green adage “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.” Rent your formal wear instead of buying, and you’ll save money and conserve resources at the same time. A heartwarming and straightforward way to “re-use” a dress is to tailor a hand-me-down to your modern sensibilities. Vintage is still hot, and what better accompaniment to a vintage ensemble than estate jewelry? Often more exciting and less expensive than its modern counterparts, estate jewelry avoids the politically charged stigma sometimes associated with the mining of precious gems. If you inherited an engagement ring, it could be reset to suit your taste. (Or follow the newest eco-friendly trend in jewelry—cultured diamonds. They’re socially acceptable and absolutely flawless!)

#3. Pick Your Venue

Choosing a location that is close to your guests will reduce your wedding’s impact in a big way. But once you’ve done that, you might also want to consider what type of venue you will be using. If you aren’t tied to a particular church, synagogue, mosque, or rammed-earth eco-dome, why not consider supporting your local community garden, farmer, or other worthwhile projects? Not only will your wedding serve as a useful source of revenue for the chosen local hosts, but it can also raise awareness of their work and send an intensely personal message about the issues that you and your partner care about.

#4. Green Your Transportation

So, now that you’ve picked the venue now, how will you and your guests get there? Try to provide as much information on transport options as possible. Encourage guests to carpool or set up an Uber to get your own ride code and set limits for how much you’ll cover for each ride taking guests to and from—even better if it’s a green car service that uses electric cars!

#5. Watch the Numbers!

No matter what other choices you make, the most significant factor in the ecological and financial impact of your wedding will be its size. The cold hard fact is that each person you invite means more miles traveled, more food consumed, a bigger venue, and more waste when it’s all over. Since this is your big day, invite as many loved ones as you want, but keep an eye on the numbers and be aware that the more the guest list grows, the harder it is to draw the line: “Well, if we’ve invited cousin Sami then we really should invite aunt Mary…”

#6. Eco-Friendly Decoration

Go for some creative DIY decor ideas and turn your backyard or courtyard into an attractive reception venue. If you’re having a destination beach wedding, simply use some colorful cushions, mattresses, chairs, and bolsters, and your reception venue is ready! In case of a forest wedding, just add wooden chairs, logs, and lanterns to deck up the setting with jungle vibes.

#7. Benefit from Natural Light

Celebrate the outdoors and the natural environment by choosing an outdoor venue where you can rely on natural light. Or, for a real intimate feeling, you could opt for candles instead of switching on light fixtures. Another way to make this work is by hosting a brunch wedding, instead of going well into the evening.

#8. Green Catering

When you’re looking for eco-friendly wedding reception ideas in the wedding catering area, think recycled plates and glasses or bamboo sweet-baskets. Make it an absolutely NO Plastic ceremony by using glass or steel water bottles and water glasses. Use as much local produce as possible. Ask your wedding bakers to use fresh milk and eggs for cakes and sweets. Fresh and locally grown produce would mean fewer storage requirements and hence lesser use of refrigeration.

What Is the Most Environmentally Friendly Funeral?

Respecting the environment at your funeral is a trend that attracts more and more people. Symbol of this eco-friendly funeral towards sustainable development: the cardboard coffin, which is an alternative to the wooden one.

In America, the funeral market could be a godsend for ecological entrepreneurs while a « fashion » has been emerging for a few years now: the desire to create ecological funerals, particularly with the use of cardboard caskets.

They are cheaper and more environmentally friendly, whether for burial or cremation. They seem to attract more and more people when it comes to organizing one’s funeral. Professionals in the sector are gradually entering this market, conscious that the will of their clients is evolving in this direction.

Five times cheaper than wood

It must be said that these coffins of a new kind, democratized in particular in the countries of Northern Europe, have several advantages over the classic version.

First of all, from a cost point of view, these cellulose coffins are cheaper: between $100 for the starting prices up to $600 for the high-end customizable versions. This is about five times less than solid wood caskets sold between $800 and $3,000, or even higher!

But what is of particular interest is the ecological footprint left by cardboard coffins. These coffins are five times lighter than those made of wood but just as resistant, would respect the environment from their manufacturing process to the standards in force: biodegradable recycled cardboard, non-polluting glues, etc…

Green benefits but also limits

Then comes the choice between burial and cremation. Here again, the cardboard coffin would show positive data in terms of ecology and limitation of air and soil pollution. Underground, it would degrade in barely 12 months, while the wooden one could take up to 10 or even 15 years. This is due to the fact that eight times less wood is used compared to a conventional coffin.

In addition, no heavy metals or fluorine would emanate from the incinerated cardboard coffin, but only a low level of nitrogen oxide. This means that far fewer toxic substances are produced when a wooden coffin is burned. In short, cardboard coffins would save kilometers of the forest; millions of healthy trees; millions cubic meters of water, and millions liters of fuel oil.

However, they are forbidden in many crematoriums because apparently some argue that these coffins do not participate in their own combustion, so it is necessary to inject gas to complete incineration; it is then more polluting. The consumption necessary to burn a cardboard coffin is thus higher than that necessary to burn a wooden coffin (10 kW more). Once incinerated, cardboard caskets emit as much dust as a wooden casket.

Our next publication will soon cover another topic to continue the subject of the cardboard coffin. Did you like this blog? We’re just getting started. You will be able to read more in our next publication, more precisely about the advantages and limitations of cardboard caskets. Keep reading our posts, and don’t forget to leave your comments and also to share this page with your friends! See you soon!

What Are the Key Principles of Sustainable Development?

Everybody talks about sustainable development, but nobody says exactly what it means. The term sustainability is broadly used to indicate programs, initiatives and actions aimed at the preservation of a particular resource. However, it actually refers to four distinct areas: human, social, economic and environmental – known as the four pillars of sustainability.

Human Sustainability

Human sustainability aims to maintain and improve the human capital in society. Investments in the health and education systems, access to services, nutrition, knowledge and skills are all programs under the umbrella of human sustainability. Natural resources and spaces available are limited and there is a need to balance continual growth with improvements to health and achieving economic wellbeing for everyone. In the context of business, an organisation will view itself as a member of society and promote business values that respect human capital. Human sustainability focuses on the importance of anyone directly or indirectly involved in the making of products, or provision of services or broader stakeholders (the human capital of the organisation). Communities around the globe may be positively or negatively affected by business activities or impacted through methods used to source raw materials. Human sustainability encompasses the development of skills and human capacity to support the functions and sustainability of the organisation and to promote the wellbeing of communities and society.

Social Sustainability

Social sustainability aims to preserve social capital by investing and creating services that constitute the framework of our society. The concept accommodates a larger view of the world in relation to communities, cultures and globalisation. It means to preserve future generations and to acknowledge that what we do can have an impact on others and on the world. Social sustainability focuses on maintaining and improving social quality with concepts such as cohesion, reciprocity and honesty and the importance of relationships amongst people. It can be encouraged and supported by laws, information and shared ideas of equality and rights. Social sustainability incorporates the idea of sustainable development as defined by the United Nations sustainable development goals. The principle of sustainable development addresses social and economic improvement that protects the environment and supports equality, and therefore the economy and society and the ecological system are mutually dependent.

Economic Sustainability

Economic sustainability aims to maintain the capital intact. If social sustainability focuses on improving social equality, economic sustainability aims to improve the standard of living. In the context of business, it refers to the efficient use of assets to maintain company profitability over time.

Critics of this model acknowledge that a great gap in modern accounting practices is not to include the cost of damage to the earth in market prices. A more recent approach to economics acknowledges the limited incorporation of the ecological and social components in this model. New economics is inclusive of natural capital (ecological systems) and social capital (relationships amongst people) and challenges the mantra of capital that continual growth is good and bigger is better, if it risks causing harm to the ecological and human system.

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability aims to improve human welfare through the protection of natural capital (e.g. land, air, water, minerals etc.). Initiatives and programs are defined environmentally sustainable when they ensure that the needs of the population are met without the risk of compromising the needs of future generations. Environmental sustainability places emphasis on how business can achieve positive economic outcomes without doing any harm, in the short- or long-term, to the environment. An environmentally sustainable business seeks to integrate all four sustainability pillars, and to reach this aim each one needs to be treated equally.

The principle of the four pillars of sustainability states that for complete sustainability problems to be solved in relation to all four pillars of sustainability and then need be maintained. Although in some cases these may overlap, it is important to identify the specific type of green business to focus on, as the four types present unique characteristics. Businesses need to make a strategic decision about it to effectively incorporate the chosen approach into their policies and procedures.

Tips in Green Living

Moving towards an environmentally friendly lifestyle can help improve your health and your life in general, and it is also a major asset for the world around you. Eliminating unnecessary chemicals, unhealthy foods, earth-unfriendly practices and bad habits can add up to make you healthier, while at the same time boosting the environment and the ecosystem. Wherever you are in the world, the following 8 tips are all achievable. Some of them are even great fun! Treat yourself, as we all fight for a greener future.

1. Get a high efficiency shower-head A high efficiency shower-head can save up to 3,000 gallons of water per person per year. You will also save $50 in energy costs and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per person per year. Shower-heads are specially designed to conserve resources while providing a luxurious shower. Accessories for sinks and aerators also save large amounts of water and are very inexpensive.

2. Recycle water in your bathroom Use devices that allow you to reuse water from the sink to flush your toilet. You can also keep a bucket near the shower or bathtub and fill it with cold water from the sink before the hot water kicks in. Then take the bucket outside and use it to water your plants.

3. Compost Use a compost bin to turn your food and lawn waste into a rich mulch. It’s a great way to reduce your waste production, and next year you’ll have a rich compost ready to be planted in the spring.

4. Buy green power from your utility Most utilities charge less than $5 per month extra. Not only will your energy come from a renewable source, but you will use your spending control to show utility executives and government officials that we need more investment in renewable energy projects.

5. Improving the efficiency of your tankless and solar water heaters is all well and good, but simple modifications to your existing installation can reduce your energy bills and carbon emissions by 25% or more. Reduce the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees, wrap it in an insulating water heater blanket and insulate the first 3 to 6 feet of hot and cold water piping. These inexpensive changes should take less than an hour.

6. Use high-efficiency outdoor lighting A typical 100-watt spotlight, if used six hours a day, can use up to $40 worth of electricity over a year and produce more than 400 pounds of carbon dioxide, depending on where you live. To get started, replace these projectors with compact fluorescent versions, which are just as bright and consume a quarter of the energy. Next, replace the low-energy halogen landscape bulbs with LED versions. They reduce energy consumption by more than 80% and can last for ten years or more. Finally, install motion detectors on non-essential lights. The new versions screw directly into the socket of your existing luminary.

7. 7. Replace heavy-duty indoor lights with compact fluorescent or LEDs With high-quality light, sizes to fit almost any luminary and dimmable versions, compact fluorescent have it all. They are more expensive than standard light bulbs, but between the energy savings and their much longer service life, they pay for themselves in less than two years. And think about LED bulbs for non-dimmable circuits (especially for vacation lighting). They are real energy wasters and will last as long as you live in your home.

8. Load the washing machines Make sure to run the dishwasher and washing machines only when they are full. Clothes washers consume a lot of energy and water, so be sure to do full loads (or adjust the water setting) whenever possible. And most of us use much more water (and soap) than we need to wash dishes by hand, especially when compared to high-efficiency Energy Star dishwashers. So save your time, water and energy by putting these dishes directly in the dishwasher after a meal.