2021 note: Unfortunately, this business is no longer in business.
MCCN members Jan Oostland and JD Smucker are offering a product we can all use sooner or later. Green Legacy Caskets provide an alternative to funeral home caskets. These quality hardwood caskets are certified by the Green Burial Council, and priced between $750 and $1000. They are constructed with integrity without using screws or metal handles, lined with natural fibers, and available in different styles that celebrate simplicity.
Did you know that each year 22,500 cemeteries across the United States bury:
• 90,272 tons of steel (caskets)
• 14,000 tons of steel (vaults)
• 2700 tons of copper and bronze (caskets)
• 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete (vaults)
Note that all of these materials need to be mined and/or require large amounts of energy to produce.
Green Legacy Caskets provide an alternative to funeral home caskets. These quality hardwood caskets are certified by the Green Burial Council, and priced between $750 and $1000. They are constructed with integrity without using screws or metal handles, lined with natural fibers, and available in different styles that celebrate simplicity.
The idea for developing a green casket began around 2008 when Jan Oostland, who grew up in the Netherlands, began to reflect on American funeral practices. Oostland, a member of Waterford Mennonite Church in Goshen IN, helped his congregation to think about stewardship and planning for end of life needs. Later, J.D. Smucker (also of Waterford Mennonite) joined the business, and the present design of the caskets was created.
In 2006 when JD’s father died, the family purchased an unfinished casket from a local Amishman. His father had wanted a simple casket that would communicate humility, integrity and stewardship. Family members wrote messages in the box before the lining and finishing were done, and this proved a memorable time of remembering, celebrating, and releasing.
A Green Legacy casket can also offer this opportunity, as well as making a statement to our world that we do not need to fill the earth with unnecessary materials. Green Legacy Caskets can be used for cremation, or in traditional burial with or without a vault. In most funeral homes, you will not find Green Caskets shown as an option, so it is important to plan ahead.
For more information on end-of-life options with low environmental impact such as natural burial cemeteries, consult the Green Burial Council.