Reducing expense of dying

Reducing cost of death
DIY funerals

Since its launch in 1991, the Natural Death Centre in the UK answers up to 500 letters a week from families enquiring about DIY funerals. It has also developed a wide range of expertise on back garden burial, woodland burial, burial at sea, cardboard coffins, biodegradable body bags, wicker basket coffins etc. It has set up an Association of Nature Reserve Burial Grounds which persuades farmers and local authorities to use land for burial grounds where a tree is planted instead of a headstone (thus dealing with the problem of overcrowded cemeteries and reducing the need for air-polluting crematoria). Families are also enabled to manage without funeral directors, as each burial ground has to make available cardboard and regular coffins or shrouds directly to the general public.

A large DIY store was approached with the proposition that they should stock flat-pack coffins. (The store wrote in reply that they would not sell coffins, as the homeware stores were intended for family shopping based on the future and therefore not associated with death. This seems odd when death in the future is one certainty that every family faces). Since this time the first "design-it yourself life and death shop" has opened in the UK. The shop offers a design-your-own-death package at half the costs of the conventional channels. One option is a coffin that can in the meantime be used as a bookcase, window seat or conventional storage chest.

Facilitated by:
Dying strategically
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production