Have you heard of coffins made of banana sheaves? Well, this may raise a few eyebrows among skeptics. But it’s true! Some funeral homes have now turned to promoting eco-friendly coffins as alternative to the conventional wood material. This is their share of helping reduce the impact of climate change – by minimizing the use of hard wood and non-biodegradable options. Surprisingly, too, advocates of these eco-friendly coffins are steadily growing.
The serious threat of climate change has led many of us to devise ways to help in whatever way we can to reduce its impact. Because, we believe that if everybody did his part, no matter how little it may seem, we can have a snowball effect.
Alternative to conventional caskets
Perhaps, the idea of having a coffin made of banana sheaves would initially elicit varied reactions.
But actually, it’s not a remote idea, at all! If we recall, in the 1950s and ’60s, woven baskets were used by funeral homes in transporting dead bodies from health institutions.
And so, I presume that aside from the climate change issue, the inventor of banana sheaves coffin might have taken an idea from such practice. Or, it could also be that, in the process of searching for cheaper solutions to burial costs, he has seen the potential of banana sheaves, which would have otherwise ended in landfills, or converted into animal feed.
Anyway, whatever the inventor’s goal for coming up with such an innovation might be, he has somehow hit two birds with one stone.
Aside from being way cheaper than its conventional counterpart, banana sheaves coffins are completely environmentally friendly. It decomposes with the body it contains. I’m not saying that wooden coffins don’t decompose. It’s just that wood decomposes longer, and many forest trees are sacrificed for this purpose.
How are banana-sheave coffins made
Except for its base, which is usually made of eco-ply board, a banana coffin is derived from dried banana trunks, called sheaves, woven together into ropes before they are formed into a coffin. Its production process neither uses glue, metal fastener, formaldehyde, chemicals, pesticides, or other preservatives. Thus, making it very environmentally friendly.
Banana coffins are now referred to as “ecoffins”, coined from the words ecologically friendly and coffin. This type of ecoffin decomposes in six to twenty four months after the burial.
What makes banana coffin more amazing is that it is sturdy enough to accommodate even up to 325 pounds. And yet, it is lightweight when empty.
Currently, production of banana coffins is primarily done in Indonesia, where its basic materials are found in abundance.
Other ecoffin materials
Aside from banana sheaves, there are now other ecoffin materials available, such as
- recycled papers
- plain wooden box
Now that people are becoming more active in the preservation of Mother Nature, it will not take long anymore to make these environmentally friendly caskets popular.
Personally, I would be glad to use banana sheaves for my own burial box.