When people pass away, the majority of them are either buried in a coffin or are cremated. But now plans are underway for Canberra’s deceased to be buried without a coffin. To be clear, when this is implemented, it will not be compulsory to be buried coffin-less. It’s a choice.
Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury said last week that many people are looking for more environmentally friendly ways to be buried. Being buried without a coffin, a ‘natural burial’, doesn’t involve any chemicals that might be used during an embalming process, and obviously doesn’t use the energy that would be used in a cremation.
The Minister also said that the burials would take up less land because people would be buried vertically, rather than horizontally. The Minister expects that natural burials will be a welcome option in the ACT, given that cardboard coffins are already used here.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’m in a couple of different minds about it depending on whether it’s myself being buried or a family member, and whether or not I’m particularly close to that family member, plus a whole lot of other factors.
If I was the one to pass away, I don’t really care what people do with me. I hate money being spent on me so if it’s cheaper to chuck me into a hole with no coffin or whatever, go for it. If it was my partner that passed away, I don’t know what I would want for him. I suppose it depends on the circumstance and how I was coping. I know a lot of people deal with their pain by giving their loved one a really fancy farewell service with a nice casket and the like, while others cope by keeping the ashes with them.
I think it’s great that the government is offering this as an option for burial. It’s good for the environment and I assume it will be cheaper too. However, I expect there to be a lot of varied opinions on this.
What do you think about natural burials? Would you opt for it yourself or for a loved one?