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Greens nickers in twist over cardboard coffins

johnboy 6 April 2006 28

According to the ABC there’s legions of people out there who’s dieing wish is to be buried in cardboard boxes and the cruel government is denying this strange obsession. Dr. Foskey has put out a media release on the subject.

It would seem these fetishists have to be buried in Broulee in order to carry their modish sensibilities into the hereafter.

Personally I’d prefer to be stitched up in my hammock with a cannon ball at either end and slung over the side of my pirate ship.

But realistically isn’t this fuss just as ostentatious as being buried in silver-lined mahogany?

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28 Responses to Greens nickers in twist over cardboard coffins
midnitecalla 7:35 pm 11 Apr 06

but i admire the way you want to go,Terubo, but as Canberra is home to more viking weather , id shell out for that option, on the funeral plan and is more dramatic than the egyptian one so value for bucks there…

midnitecalla 7:29 pm 11 Apr 06

true, but as i said no guarantees on lying in rest even if i was buried, and the rose will die eventually over the years, but is a nicer more efficient way to go though.

terubo 8:00 am 11 Apr 06

Only if water restrictions permit them to water that rose bush…otherwise it’ll be as dead as you.

midnitecalla 8:25 pm 10 Apr 06

as im gonna be cremated , with cemeteries being resumed nowadays there isnt any guarantees that your plot is yours when the grief wears off they just plunk ya with any old geezers and sorts. So for the ceremony yes rent a casket, then transfer me to the cardboardy for scorching then scatter me to the four winds with a little under my fave rose bushes out at gungahlin with me mates.the funeral directors still make a killing with rental and refurbishment of caskets, the evironment gets it a little easier and i get to be whre i want to be with a nice head stone plaque near that rose bush. not bad eh?

terubo 8:55 pm 09 Apr 06

I shall be floated across LBG on a papyrus pontoon. An archer will fire a burning arrow into the petrol-soaked vessel as it passes through the arches of the Commonwealth bridge. The resultant fiery spectacle will be brief but effective; and, since you all seem so concerned, environmentally friendly…more so than yer cardboard, wooden or lead-lined coffins.

Stella 3:53 pm 08 Apr 06

With the constant references to their university education, I would have thought that Canberrans would be donating their bodies to medical schools so that their uni mates could cut them up. That would seem to be the most environmentally friendly solution.

Thumper 12:45 pm 07 Apr 06


Then a standard pint glass…

Sssanta 12:36 pm 07 Apr 06


When I go, it will be due to morbid stupidity. I suspect the only parts of me they will find will fit on a spatchelor… better make it a limited edition KFC Star Wars novelty mug.

GnT 12:32 pm 07 Apr 06

I would prefer to be cremeted in a cardboard box. Cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Does this make me a loony?

Thumper 12:27 pm 07 Apr 06


they’ll bury you in an over sized schooner glass…

Sssanta 12:05 pm 07 Apr 06

I am willing to wager that a majority of the resistence to this idea will be coming from religous types, as opposed to the funeral industry. Although the coffin is a big ticket item, the bigger costs in funerals, be they cremashings or burials is actually the EPA costs involved with interrring a body in the ground, or buring what is termed as ‘medicval waste’ and then pumping it into the big blue yonder. One burnt body, puts out as much methane as a cow does overs it lifetime. Strange but true, a sourced from Greenpeace

Chris S 11:19 am 07 Apr 06

Johnboy, point taken about Kerrie.

“…forced to cater to the loonie preferences of every cult or creed?” The use of recycled cardboard for coffins is an accepted solution in many places around Australia and the world and interest in the idea is grwoing, although it seems that not many as yet are taking it up as an option. Perhaps the reason is resistance from the industry?

It therefore was fringe once upon a time, but the ACT is lagging here. Just another example of this Labor government being captured by industry.

I don’t agree that it’s the Greens having a whinge, but rather they are asking for the government to fall into line with growing consumer pressure.

Maelinar 11:12 am 07 Apr 06

I prefer the cardboard box approach. Save the wood for Piano’s and wooden stocks in Garema Place.

As far as me personally, I’m going to be made into a diamond and passed down as a family heirloom.

Cardboard or Timber, won’t make too much of a difference in the process.

johnboy 11:03 am 07 Apr 06

Anti-Green Bias? I endorsed Kerrie Tucker for the Senate!

Should there be low-cost options for burial? Sure! What percentage of lifetime greenhouse emissions of the average Green will be taken up by a cheap plantation pine box v. recycled cardboard? I’m guessing so little as to leaving the only issues here being cost (fair point, but unrelated and covered by cheap pine) or essentially religious.

Should undertakers be forced to cater to the loonie preferences of every cult or creed?

Instead of whinging why aren’t they setting up their own Green funerals business?

I’d say it’s because far too often the Greens (as a movement) find it easier to whine, than to construct working alternatives.

Thumper 10:50 am 07 Apr 06


I agree. If a recycled cardboard box is available I’ll use it over a lavish timber one made from Indonesian rainforests or wherever.

It seems as if the funeral industry has mr hargreaves on side as they would lose out in that a cardboard box is going to cost a hell of a lot less than a wooden one.

Interestingly, Mr Hargreaves was heard to quote that the price difference between a cheap wooden coffin and a cardboard one was negligible. Worse still, he was talking about some enviornmental impacts.

I have to ask, cardboard or wood buried in the ground. What is the difference in the long run?

I will have to say that I think it’s a non issue and that Foskey is just trying to drum up some relevance, but the point should be taken that cardboard is cheaper, and more environmentally friendly, and if you want to get buried in a cardboard box then you should be allowed to be.

Indi 10:46 am 07 Apr 06

I’d say a bag that is combustable is good enough – I mean lets inject some sense into this debate!

Chris S 10:33 am 07 Apr 06

Thank you to Les Whinin for putting a bit of logic back into this subject. Johnboy, your anti-Green (as opposed to anti-green) bias is showing a bit much.

Deb Foskey has rightly picked up on an issue that has largely been resolved in other jurisdictions and other countries – that of consumer choice. Three points:

a) As Les Whinin has pointed out, the funeral industry in Canberra is holding out as it will affect their profits, and the ACT govt is ignoring research done elsewhere that shows cardboard is no worse than other materials, and better than some when it comes to pollutants when we go up the smokestack.

b) Deb Foskey is simply being true to her Green philosophies in seeking an alternative to the destruction of forest-grown timber (whether natural or plantation)

c) Some of the discussion above confuses cremation and burial. Deb has only referred to the former, but the principles apply to both

Good on Deb Foskey for raising this – it’s all about choice, and allowing us freedom to practise any philosophies that we may or may not hold about conserving our natural environment, and the way we depart this mortal coil.

For me, fertilising the rose bush, whether as compost or potash, seems a good use of my remains, and if that’s mixed with recycled cardboard rather than Johnboy’s mahogany, I just may rest in peace just a little more satisfied about my ever-so-slightly diminished contribution to waste.

Les Whinin 10:18 am 07 Apr 06

Firstly, to straighten up this argument, we’re talking about the use of carboard coffins made of recycled material to substite the use of old-growth trees currently used to create kindling for your final, firely exit.

Now I can hardly be considered a greeny, but I certainly see no point in having a lavish 2 tonne timber tomb created from some old trees just to be torched like a struck match.

The overriding concern with the use of cardboard coffins is that of commercial viability. How would funeral directors make a living if they could no longer charge rediculous amounts of money for a wooden box? God forbid they could no longer charge $8000 for a box, a eulogy and 10 minutes on a oversized bunsen burner.

jr 6:34 pm 06 Apr 06

I’m sure the a body would stay fresher if it was vacuum shrink wrapped in plastic

TAD 5:08 pm 06 Apr 06

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