5 Biodegradable Caskets & Coffins vs 3 Biodegradable Urns (2023 Costs)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Eco-Friendly Natural Products | January 20, 2023

Biodegradable casket covered in greenery to naturally decompose for organic burial option.

If you plan to minimize the environmental impact of your burial or memorial, biodegradable caskets, coffins, and urns can help you achieve your goals.

With the use of sustainable resources that can naturally merge with the earth, these green organic burial pods and options let you stand by your promise to protect nature even after your demise.

While the approach of a natural burial has grown popular in the past few years, it still remains obscure in comparison to traditional burial arrangements. To help you make an informed decision for your memorial service, here are 5 biodegradable coffin and casket options vs. 3 biodegradable urn choices along with their costs in 2023.

5 Top Biodegradable Caskets and Eco-Friendly Coffins

Here’s the list of the top biodegradable caskets and eco-friendly coffins:

1. Carnation Natural Caskets: Rattan and Cotton Caskets

Made from rattan wood, the products from Carnation Natural Caskets easily fit the bill of biodegradable burial arrangements.10 With other natural materials such as cotton lining and natural rope handles, you can choose these caskets while being confident in their environmentally friendly manufacturing practices. Since rattan wood is highly sustainable,2 it adds to the eco-friendly structure of these caskets.

In 2023, the biodegradable caskets at Carnation Natural Caskets start from $1,200 and go up to $1,700. This may not include shipping costs, which is why you might need to speak to the team at Carnation Natural Caskets before your purchase.

2. Loop Living Cocoon: A Mushroom Coffin Company

If you want to choose a casket that uses little to no wood, the Living Cocoon by Loop might fulfill your requirements.12 This Dutch company offers a self-stylized world’s first living coffin that is made from mycelium, the fungi used for mushroom growth. With a rectangular shape and the ability to decompose upon burial, this natural-looking looking casket can make for a beautiful funeral.

In 2023, the Loop Living Cocoon is priced at around $1,250. Since the company is based in the Netherlands, ordering it for tree pod burial locations USA residents can use may also require you to factor in additional shipping costs or permits. For updated policy details, you may make inquiries from Loop.

3. Cardboard Coffin Company: A Biodegradable Cardboard Coffin

The Cardboard Coffin Company offers you the option to purchase a biodegradable cardboard coffin in a variety of ranges.9 This includes cardboard coffins with simple as well as elevated finishes. In either case, the materials used in these coffins are sustainable and also decomposable upon burial.

In 2023, the coffins available at the store start from around $250. The more elevated design that you purchase, the more it will cost. Delivery is free within Europe. For USA deliveries, you can contact the company itself. Apart from this store, you can also buy such a biodegradable cardboard coffin from many funeral homes that offer natural burial services.

4. Titan Casket: Wicker Casket Options

Titan Casket makes a variety of traditional caskets. But it also holds specialized categories for eco-friendly coffins. This includes the company’s wicker coffins, which are made with intricate craftsmanship and cost a bit higher than other caskets due to that reason. At the same time, these bamboo and willow coffins offer a more sustainable manufacturing practice and have a reduced environmental impact upon burial.

In 2023, these wicker casket offerings from Titan Casket start at $1,099 and go all the way up to $1,795. The store offers free shipping throughout the US, which gives you some relief after buying the casket.

5. The Old Pine Box – All Natural Pine Wood Casket

The Old Pine Box prides itself on offering a range of caskets and coffins for traditional and natural burials.13 One of its most environmentally friendly options is the Vaquero, which is a casket made entirely from sustainable and easily decomposable pine. The Vaquero is free of any oils and polishes, making way for an environmentally friendly burial.3 This pine tree casket is also available in a kosher version that is free of the metal screws that are used in the standard Vaquero.

Top-angled shot of pine tree casket with rope for its handle and purple and yellow flowers on top.
In 2023, The Old Pine Box’s Vaquero starts from $849, with the kosher, metal-free version priced at $1,000. These biodegradable caskets are shipped at a standard shipping rate for most cities and towns, but you can speak to the company’s team for shipping rates if you are ordering it from a remote location.

3 Top Biodegradable Urns: Tree Pods, Burial Pods, and Other Options

Here’s the list of the top biodegradable urns:

1. Capsula Mundi: Cost and Process

Capsula Mundi offers biodegradable urns with the option to plant a tree over your remains.8 The tree’s roots then use the nutrients from your ashes in order to thrive and create a memory in your name. These urns allow you to either plant a tree sapling on top or have a natural brutal through their decomposable material. You can also bury this urn in an already-grown tree.

In 2023, the Capsula Mundi urns start from $370 and offer free shipping.

2. The Living Urn: Price and Options

The Living Urn offers a range of biodegradable,11 outdoor, as well as indoor burial and urn systems. The most popular system by the company is the outdoor burial system, which allows you to buy your own tree sapling or seed. However, you can also buy the tree sapling from the company at an additional cost. This lets you grow a tree of your choice from your ashes.

In 2023, the Living Urn burial system without the tree sapling costs $129. If you need the system with a tree sapling, the costs can go around $30. You can also check via your zip code which available tree options would work for your local environment.

3. Bio Urn: Cost and Products

Staying true to its name, Bio Urn provides you with biodegradable urns that you can use to grow a tree from your ashes.7 Touting itself as the world’s first biodegradable urn, it comes with a pine tree seed pod, which you can replace with tree seedlings of your own choice. Since the system is designed to decompose, it allows you to have a natural burial while growing a tree that you connect with.

In 2023, the Bio Urn burial system starts from $129.99. If you choose to replace the pine tree seeds that are included in the system with a tree that you buy from a local gardener, you can factor in additional costs that may start from $30.

The Difference Between a Biodegradable Casket, Coffin, and Burial Urn

Before you compare the costs between biodegradable casket, coffin, and burial urn options, it is important to understand the differences between them.

What Are Biodegradable Caskets?

A biodegradable casket is made from materials that easily break down and decompose into the earth upon burial. This reduces the use of earth’s natural resources such as hardwood and metals that are used for building traditional caskets and coffins. Additionally, this also reduces the environmental impact of conventional funeral services that use metals and embalming materials that can be harmful to the environment.1

Rectangular Biodegradable casket with rounded corners, with flowers on top and white background.
Instead, a biodegradable casket uses sustainable materials, little to no metals, and also does not require you to be embalmed before your funeral service. This allows you to cut down your environmental impact even after death, while also inspiring others around you to consider this natural burial or green burial method.

What Is the Difference Between a Biodegradable Coffin and a Biodegradable Casket?

The main difference between a biodegradable casket and a biodegradable coffin is its structure. Where the former has a rectangular shape and four sides, the latter has a wider shape just above its center and has six sides. Another distinction is that caskets have lids with hinges, whereas coffins have completely detachable lids to them, but that is not always the case.

Wide shot of biodegradable coffin with hues of pink and purple flowers on top and with trees in the background.
Apart from these differences, both options in their biodegradable form are made from sustainable materials, while also giving you the ability to be buried without the use of embalming fluids. This makes them a great choice if you want to stay true to your environmentally friendly lifestyle after your death.

What Is a Biodegradable Burial or Cremation Urn for Human Ashes?

When it comes to biodegradable urns, you can choose between different options that perform distinct functions.

The first option is choosing a simple biodegradable urn such as one made from sand or sustainable wood, which gets buried into the ground and breaks down after a while to mix your ashes into the earth.

The second option is selecting a biodegradable urn with the option of a tree pod or sapling. This allows you to have your remains used for growing a tree. This makes these biodegradable urns (tree pods or saplings) a highly popular option if you want to leave behind a lasting memory for your loved ones.

Closeup shot of five biodegradable urns with leaf designs in colors orange, green, blue, red, and light blue.
Now that you have a clearer idea of the differences between casket, coffin, and tree pod burial options, it will become easier for you to choose a suitable method for your funeral, while also understanding their costs.

Where Can I Find Pet Caskets (Biodegradable)?

You can find biodegradable pet caskets across the web. Pawpods is a highly popular vendor in this category. But you can also purchase these biodegradable caskets and coffins for your pets through funeral homes that specialize in memorial services for pets. If you are looking for biodegradable urns, tree pods, or burial systems other than caskets and coffins, you can also turn to vendors such as The Living Urn.

How To Choose Between Biodegradable Coffin, Pods, and Casket Options

The main difference between biodegradable coffin, pod, and casket options is your personal choice as well as your budget for the memorial and burial service. Typically, eco-friendly coffins and caskets cost higher than biodegradable urns, tree pods, and burial pods. However, the latter choices also require you to pay for cremation, which can cost anywhere from $1,000-$4,500.

Another factor that needs your consideration is the carbon emissions that are involved with cremation. If you want to minimize your environmental impact after your death, you might prefer choosing natural or living coffin options.

Are Coffins Bad for the Environment?

Traditional coffins can have a surprisingly bad effect on the environment. Besides using more than 30 million board feet of wood every year,5 American burials of this traditional category also use a whopping amount of metals, concrete, and embalming fluids.

Dark brown traditional casket with flowers on top, with some mourners standing next to it.
Overall, this creates a negative impact on the environment with its use of resources, while also increasing carbon emissions. That is why natural burials that minimize the use of these materials while also planting trees have become a popular alternative for many. This especially holds true for those who already commit to using eco-friendly natural products wherever possible.

A biodegradable casket gives you the option to have a natural burial with sustainable and completely decomposable materials. But if you turn to a biodegradable urn,6 you can also benefit from the option of growing a tree from your remains. Whether you choose biodegradable caskets or tree pod urns, you can do your part in improving the environment even after your demise.

Frequently Asked Questions About Biodegradable Caskets

Where Do I Learn How To Become a Tree After Death Using Biodegradable Caskets or a Living Coffin?

Individuals can become a tree after death by getting their remains cremated and stored in biodegradable urns, tree pods, caskets, or coffins. The materials and structure of these burial methods allow the remains to be used to grow a tree after death.4

Can You Get Your Ashes Turned Into a Tree?

You can get your ashes turned into a tree by being buried within a biodegradable coffin or urn that is made with specialized materials to make sure that trees could grow from your ashes. As the materials of your biodegradable coffin or urn break down, the earth around it uses the nutrients from your ashes to grow a tree.

What To Consider While Buying a Biodegradable Tree Casket or Coffin?

When buying a biodegradable tree casket or coffin, you need to make sure that it comes from a reliable and well-reviewed vendor and fits within your budget, including the cremation and burial costs. Most importantly, you have to check your state laws for organic burial pods and biodegradable caskets to determine if you can perform a natural burial within your home state.

Can You Find a Biodegradable Tree Urn on Discount?

There are various vendors who offer biodegradable urns and eco-friendly coffins at discounts and in many cases, their prices are affordable to begin with. By looking for different vendors and burial options, you can find an option that doesn’t break the bank for you.

What Options Do You Have for Tree Pod Burial Locations: USA and Europe?

Check the laws or ordinances of the state to know the available options because each state in the USA has its own laws for living coffin and tree pod burials. This also holds true for Europe, where each territory holds its own laws for natural and tree pod burials.

Where Can You Find Biodegradable Mushroom Coffins?

Biodegradable mushroom coffins and caskets refer to burial options that use mycelium and the best way to discover these natural burial options is by looking for them online. Loop is a highly popular mushroom coffin company, which is based out of the Netherlands.

Tree Pod Burial Cost: How Much Do Biodegradable Caskets Cost on an Average?

The cost of eco-friendly coffins and caskets completely depends upon the type of material that they are made from, but on an average basis, these prices typically start from $100. With that being said, some highly advanced systems such as ones from the mushroom coffin company Loop can cost around $2,500.

Where Can You Buy Burial Pods for Humans?

You can easily find a system that meets your requirements when buying burial pods for humans from different online manufacturers. Some of them include but are not limited to Capsula Mundi, Bio Urn, and The Living Urn.

Are Burial Pods Legal in the US?

Though burial pods are legal in the US, the ability to hold a natural burial and use these pods depends upon the laws of your state, municipality, city, or town. That is why it is important that you check the regulations of your local government before making arrangements for a green funeral.

Where To Find Locations for a Tree Pod Burial Near Me?

For precise and informed advice, discuss the funeral requirements with a funeral director as the availability of tree pod burial locations depends upon your state, city, or town. Many states have multiple locations for natural burials already available, while others offer these facilities scarcely.

How To Make Biodegradable Burial Pod Tree Arrangements?

While burying eco-friendly coffins, caskets, or pods are great options, there are different choices to grow trees from the remains. Some vendors provide you with tree seeds and saplings from the get-go, while others leave the choice and the process to you.

Where To Find a Location for Tree Pod Burial: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Other State Laws?

When looking for tree pod burial locations USA residents can rely upon, you have two options at hand in the form of private property burials or community property burials. Depending upon your state and local government, you can find a variety of options to perform your natural burial.

How Much Is It To Become a Tree When You Die Cost?

The price for Capsula Mundi urns starts from $370 and offers free shipping, the Living Urn burial system without the tree sapling costs $129, and the Bio Urn burial system starts from $129.99. There are also many options for planting a tree for someone who has died.

How Much Does Cocoon Tree Pod Burial Cost?

The cocoon tree pod burial cost is at least $1,000. For example, Loop Living Cocoon is priced at around $1,250.


References

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2UC Regents. (2022). Borneo: Brokering a Better Deal for Rattan Farmers. Student Journal: Rattan Facts. UC Berkeley News Center. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://www.berkeley.edu/news/students/2003/borneo/info.shtml>

3Spence, L. (2017, October 27). Green Burial: A New Way of Thinking. UF IFAS. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/marionco/2017/10/27/1131/>

4Penn State. (2018, January 25). Capsula–Wha? Penn State. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://sites.psu.edu/carpercrcl/2018/01/25/capsula-wha/>

5Ehlers, N., & Krupar, S. (2019). Deadly Biocultures: The Ethics of Life-making. University of Minnesota Press. <https://manifold.umn.edu/read/deadly-biocultures/section/3c74965f-c3e5-4efb-b1d8-b90d0a9e7580#ch05>

6Sanchez. (2015, May 12). There Is Life After Death. Florida Tech News. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://news.fit.edu/science/life-death/#!page_id=243659e0dd54b5f61>

7Bios Urn Environment. (2022). Bios Urn. Bios. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://urnabios.com/urn/>

8Capsula Mundi. (2022). Capsula Mundi Shop Page. Capsula Mundi. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://www.capsulamundi.it/shop/>

9Cardboard Coffin Company. (2022). Cardboard Coffins. Cardboard Coffins Company. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://cardboardcoffincompany.com/>

10Carnation Caskets. (2022). Carnation Caskets Products Page. Carnation Natural Caskets. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://carnationcaskets.com/products/>

11The Living Urn. (2022). The Living Urn Product Page. The Living Urn. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://www.thelivingurn.com/pages/product>

12Loop. (2022). Loop Product Page. Close the Loop. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://www.loop-of-life.com/product>

13The Old Pine Box. (2022). Vaquero Casket. The Old Pine Box. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from <https://www.theoldpinebox.com/collections/caskets/products/vaquero-casket>