Eco-friendly coffins on the rise as Australians look to reduce their environmental footprint
Jan Abel and her partner Murray were among a dozen people who signed up to an eco coffin-making workshop with the hope of reducing their environmental footprint — in both life and death.
At the first session, the couple — from Gawler, South Australia — began creating shrouds using natural fibres and designing flat-pack coffins.
"I'm not ready to go yet so, say in ten or 15 years' time, what's your role?" he asked doula Helen Roberts, who he wanted to help with his end-of-life planning.
"I hope in 20 years' time I'll still be there [to help]," she replied.
"I don't want to die tomorrow, but I might."
Just days after their conversation, Murray had a heart attack and died.
"He was a lovely person. We had so much fun," Ms Abel said.
"The day before he died, we were so lucky to be put into [coronavirus isolation] with all the things that we could share together, with art and music and all those sorts of things.
"But sadly, by the next morning, he was gone."
Murray's family and friends worked together to plan his farewell and decorate a flat-pack coffin.
Ms Abel said she wouldn't have known what he wanted unless they had discussed it at the workshop.
"I was able to transfer what he wanted onto the coffin and complete it as he wanted to the best of my ability," she said.
Workshops booking out as people learn about dying sustainably
Organiser Abby Buckley said Murray's death made ...
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