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It is said that we come from the earth and we return to the earth.

 

We build vessels for the return journey.  

casket on wagon

Casket Design & Construction

We design for the inevitable, working with nature to return the body and the casket to the earth.

biodegradable materials only

no metal fasteners or hinges 

biodegradable casket

Our wooden caskets are not sealed, allowing the natural processes of decomposition to proceed.

We respect the unique needs of each family and will work collaboratively to accommodate your wishes. 

casket interior

We want families to feel empowered in planning death care for a loved one.

 

We make every effort to incorporate special requests that are important to your family in terms of ritual, ceremony and remembrance. 

painted casket lid

“We design and build each casket as though it was for our family.”

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log cross section

Materials

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Pinus taeda - loblolly pine

Pinus taeda

Southern Yellow Pine board grain detail
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Southern Yellow Pine (SYP)

Southern Yellow Pine is a commercial designation for a group of pine species in the southeastern U.S.:

 

Pinus taeda - loblolly pine

Pinus elliotii - slash pine

Pinus echinata - shortleaf pine 

Pinus palustris - longleaf pine

In most regions of the southeast, Pinus taeda is the predominant species used for lumber.

Our caskets are constructed out of Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) sourced from responsibly managed forests in the southeastern United States.

 

We go to the lumber yard ourselves and pick through the stack, selecting boards with the most attractive grain pattern. 

 

By using local forests and mills, we 

  • reduce transportation costs and fossil fuel consumption

  • help keep local jobs

  • promote acceptable land management practices.

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Agave sisalana - source of sisal rope

Agave sisalana

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Sisal Rope

Sisal rope and twine are composed of plant fibers derived from the agave family member, Agave sisalana.

 

Fiber bundles are harvested by scraping the plant leaves. Products using sisal fibers are stiff, strong, and durable.

A loop of sisal rope gives casket bearers a sturdy grip.

Although products made from sisal are known for resisting decomposition, it's still 100% biodegradable.

casket handle detail
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Vernicia fordii - source of tung oil

Vernicia fordii 

We apply tung oil to the finished product to enhance the pattern of the wood grain.

Tung oil gives the product a matte finish and touch of honey-colored warmth.

 

Although we favor using tung oil in the shop, we can certainly leave wood untreated by request.

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Tung Oil

Tung oil is extracted from the seeds of the southern Asian Tung Tree, Vernicia fordii

 

Applying tung oil to the surface of the wood increases the contrast of the grain and creates a sense of depth.

tung oil finish on pine
Titebond I Wood Glue
 
Reinforcing joints with glue is critical part of stabilizing the structure.
 
The polyvinyl resin created when the glue dries is non-toxic, and in the small quantities used, has minimal environmental impact for burial or cremation.
dovetail joint detail
Green Burial Council logo
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Our caskets are certified "3-Leaf" by the Green Burial Council, their highest rating for environmental responsibility.

  • Finishes and adhesives do not release toxic by-products during manufacture and do not contain plastics, acrylics or similar synthetic polymeric materials.

  • The shell is made from material harvested in an environmentally sustainable manner.

  • Greenhouse emissions from manufacture and transportation have been offset through a recognized program.

 
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Information

on

GREEN BURIAL

Learn about burial practices that are respectful to the environment and the choices families can make for death care.

casket in green burial

Casket Considerations

FUNERAL HOME

 

Yes, you can take your own casket to a funeral home.

 

You have the right by law to provide your own casket or coffin.

You are not obligated to purchase a coffin from a funeral home, even if they're providing other services for you.

CEMETERY

 

Cemeteries that accommodate green burials are limited, but fortunately the number is growing. Start with the Green Burial Council's list of providers or talk to a funeral guide to help you.

Some traditional (non-green) cemeteries will accept wooden caskets, but they may require an outer vault to prevent the grave site from settling as the casket decomposes.

Certain cemeteries will allow natural burial with no enclosure, using only a shroud to cover the body. 

CREMATION

 

Most states require that a body be enclosed in a "rigid container" for cremation

Our caskets satisfy the container requirement in an ecologically-responsible manner.

With no metals or plastics, our caskets burn clean.

Our commitment to our clients and to the earth:

TALK the TALK:

 

We are committed to: 

1) minimizing the environmental impact of our products and practices 

2) honoring our client's need for meaningful practices around death

WALK the WALK:

 

To achieve our goal, we will:

1) adopt current best practices for "green burial" and "green business"

2) listen respectfully to our clients in order to best serve their needs

THE DETAILS:

1a) Our products to meet the highest standards for green burial as established by the Green Burial Council, an independent non-profit dedicated to sustainability in the field. 

 

1b) We have modeled our business practices on the standards set of the Green America, a not-for-profit with a stated mission to "harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society."

  • We evaluate our practices for environmental and social consequences. Although cost and profit must be a concern, it is not our sole concern. Our Green Business Certification through Green America embraces an objective green business model and verifies our commitment. 

  • We select and source our materials based on sustainability. (The Green Burial Council also checks our work on this one).

  • We practice transparency by openly stating the materials we use, through our third-party certifications, and directly addressing questions and concerns from our clients.

 

2) We keep up with trends in home funerals by regularly participating in events such as Death Cafes and through our membership in organizations like the National Home Funeral Alliance. We are continually learning from the leading voices in the field about how to best serve families during the end of life process. We will also continue to listen attentively to the most important voice - yours.

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We offer a variety of custom woodworking products, including caskets, coffins, urns, and more.

leaf in casket interior