Turns out you can continue to do your part for the environment even after you've hit the proverbial bunker and sighed your last breath. How? By having your funeral arranged such that you'll be buried in one of Return To Sender's environmentally-friendly coffins.
What makes a coffin environmentally more sound? In this case, it's about a casket that carries modern looks, all while being fully biodegradable and using as few low-cost materials as possible. According to proprietor Greg Holdsworth, the goal has always been to "make an affordable coffin which used as few resources as possible."
Return to Sender currently has five casket models on stock, namely Artisan, Essence, Archetype, Woodstock and RD1. Each one features the company's characteristic minimalist approach to production and design, such as using bio-degradable components, eliminating the need for additional attachments (e.g. most of them have built-in handles on the body to avoid the need to attach plastic ones) and coming in shapes that encourage the least use of materials. Because of the conservative construction, the coffins end up very light in weight, making them easier to handle for pall bearers too (when empty, some of the models can be balanced on one hand).
How necessary is it to opt for eco-friendly coffins? Current statistics indicate that, in the US alone, 30 million board feet of hardwoods and 90,272 tons of steel are buried in the form of caskets each year. Those are huge amounts of resources that end up under the soil, never to be used again.
Availability for Return to Sender's coffins appear to be currently restricted to New Zealand, where the company is based. You can see the designs and learn more from their website.