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Greens nickers in twist over cardboard coffins

By 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?

What’s Your opinion?

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28 Responses to
Greens nickers in twist over cardboard coffins
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
Ari 4:46 pm 06 Apr 06

When they built a crematorium at Inverell the locals promptly dubbed it Sizzlers.

barking toad 4:36 pm 06 Apr 06

Ahh, the greens’ press releases, issued to relieve the suffering of relevance deprivation.

Now I couldn’t really give a flying but tend to think if people want to have their corpse barbequed in a cardboard box instead of a more expensive timber one, well, why not.

But unfortunately in pushing this largely irrelevant barrow the Now Private Renter (NPR) has pleaded that the Minister should “give this matter the attention it deserves” which, of course, is the square root of fuck all.

Shouldn’t the greens help save the forests and cut out these meaningless bits of paper? Yes, I know, they’re on the net but there’s paper being used somewhere.

Thumper 3:55 pm 06 Apr 06

Mate, oncce I’m dead I’m not really going to care about it.

They can bury me in a horde of sewn together jelly fish for all I care…

Sssanta 3:53 pm 06 Apr 06

For F**ks Sake. Let anyone do whatever as they are being given the big goodbye. Cardboard, asbestos, once its underground it’ll rot eventually. Its not like a cemetary will be developed within two generations of said old codger biting the big one.

At least Deb Foskey is doing the baby boomers a service by ensuring that their eccentric ways will be serviced long after their time has come.

Absent Diane 3:37 pm 06 Apr 06

cadavers should be turned into compost…. and just to make it spectacular it should be done in the same vein as that scene from fargo

Slinky the Shocker 3:30 pm 06 Apr 06

For sure, Ari. What about being cremated after being fried in old fish- and chipshop oil biodiesel.

Ari 3:23 pm 06 Apr 06

Ahhhhhh … from my reading of the release they’re actually talking about cremations.

I wonder if cremations generate more greenhouse gases than a decomposing corpse?

rose 3:16 pm 06 Apr 06

The environmentally conscious like to be buried in a box same as the rest of us do.

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