Mourning Dove Studio Blog

6 Reasons We Are Using Cardboard for Our Coffins

It may seem cheap. Amazon packages all of their wares in cardboard boxes. Cats and five year olds love cardboard boxes. Anything can be in a cardboard box.

Yet before you pass judgement, please think about why we adore cardboard and believe it?s the most perfect product to use for a coffin.

?1) Cardboard is lightweight and durable
Cardboard was a happy accident in a paper bag factory. Quickly it went from a simple box to hold ?golden flakes? of cereal to an intrepid engineer using corn starch to glue triangles sandwiched between the original idea. Remember that riveting Geometry Pythagorean Theorem lesson you made an ?A? in? That?s what is going on in corrugated cardboard giving it that hidden Superpower strength.

Copy Goes Here in Slideshow

Tired of lugging around wooden crates, the new cardboard product was quickly made popular in the shipping industry in the early 20th century thanks to the lightweight nature. You appreciate this about our cardboard coffins if you?ve ever had to carry a wood casket – super heavy.

We wanted a product that was easy to handle. We knew it needed to be something convenient for families to place on the table and decorate yet durable enough to carry to a gravesite. Cardboard has the unity of both of these fine qualities.

2.) Cardboard is biodegradable
One of the oft quoted ?cons? of cardboard is actually our biggest ?pro?. Exposed to a moist environment for a length of time, cardboard starts to quickly biodegrade. All those short and long fibers of wood leftovers and recycled paper stuff begin separating. Since we are all about this ?full cycle?, it is almost a poem in the making.

Cardboard fits so perfectly into our philosophy of a natural burial. It is one of the top 3 requirements for a natural burial -a biodegradable container. Nothing artificial, all natural therefore completely compostable. Simple.

3) Cardboard is recyclable
Remember when you moved and collected a million boxes from the liquor store? Since they were all recycled ( you did recycle them, right?), now those very same boxes are reincarnated into Amazon packages, Google VR glasses or our coffin! Out of all the recycling out there, cardboard is the most aggressively recycled. It really fits into our philosophy naturally.

Corrugated board is a material that can be easily recycled over and over again. I see it as an endless supply source that I purge from my trash and neighborhood, reusing it towards my creations. Artwork that is intriguing to the viewer whereas one might ponder quite some time over. A form of green art, that makes a definitive statement with its contribution to the recycling movement.

Mark Langan, artist and founder of Corrugated Art

4) Cardboard is artsy

We made our cardboard white using a non-bleach process combined with same brightening minerals as wares made of china. White offers a chance to present our coffins like a canvas to decorate, write on, paint on, stencil on or artistically express as anyone would like. We feel it invites a way to show love and exhibit a unique good bye. Promoting art in a difficult time can be a moment to truly express something you cannot put into language. Even if you are not an artist, the fluid motions of watercolor or decoupaging photos, the end result will not matter as much as the journey creating it.

Art gives you a feeling of empowerment, capability and freedom that your grief tragedy may have robbed from you.

5) Cardboard is great for cremations

Love the romance of a fiery cremation? The law requires that a deceased person be in some kind of container during the cremation process ?(refered to as an alternative container). Our coffins are far superior to the ?alternative container? most funeral homes offer.

Direct cremation is an option – you are taken to the crematorium and well, cremated with no service, no frills . Sounds easy and appealing, but consider adding a step – an opportunity for folks to grieve. Give them the chance to say goodbye on the coffin with their thoughts, poems, pictures, whatever. These gorgeous coffins work wonderfully for cremation.

Learn more about DIRECT CREMATION with Caitlin Doughty, The Order of The Good Death series

from funeral director Amy Cunningham

6) Cardboard is affordable
Unlike metal or long boards of wood, cardboard is a more reasonably priced material. Due to the recycling and abundance of sawdust or ?bad chips? of harvested trees from the lumber industry, cardboard remains to be modestly priced. We are able to provide an affordable product that hasn?t been available in the funeral industry.

The lowest priced product isn?t appealing and often has ?HEAD? stamped on it, nor is it sturdy enough for a natural burial or sustaining the weight of a person -it is flimsy, inexpensive cardboard. We have designed ours to be extremely strong. We have an affordable coffin that reflects recycling, super strong as well as a great way to provide an artistic background. Now that is a pretty penny!

Other info to know:

The Funeral Rule (enforced by the FTC)

*The funeral provider cannot refuse to handle a casket or urn you bought online, at a local casket store, or somewhere else ? or charge you a fee to do it. The funeral home cannot require you to be there when the casket or urn is delivered to them.

*For burial, please check doublecheck with the cemeteries. ?No cemetery has ever refused to bury our cardboard coffins, but they do have the right to set their own regulations as they are not regulated by the FTC.

Let Us leave You With This…
We wanted our coffins to be a gorgeous shape, lightweight, recycled as well as artsy – and affordable. Cardboard, the lovely box, is a dream we made come true. We hope it is clear like water why we carefully chose it. Our unique coffins are flat-packed, easy to store and simple to put together. Look for our future blogs about decorating ideas.

Mark Langan, artist and founder of Corrugated Art


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    1. We have all of our coffins made in Massachusetts at a facility that is on the cutting edge of effeciant industrial production. They also have solar, ample skylights and a zero waste policy!

    2. Hi! Our coffins are made near Boston, MA at a facility very conscience about the environment from their electricity to the waste of their manufacturing.Thanks for asking!

  1. This blog is well written and clearly describes benefits of using quality cardboard to bury people you love.

    Thank you for providing this important information so clearly. Your blog should make it easier for people to think ” cardboard” as an end of life alternative.

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