ARKA Ecopod - the Recycled Paper Coffin

PodblueARKA's Ecopod is a revolutionary design in coffins made from naturally hardened, 100% recycled paper - mainly newsprint and office paper - and a non-toxic natural hardener, the Ecopod is ideal for a natural burial or clean cremation.

Ecopodnatgeojuly2008 Check out Ecopod in the National Geographic, July 2008

The Ecopod was featured in the National Geographic's "Environment" section.


OBIT Magazine"Going to Ground"

Treehugger noticed it a long time ago, back in 2005 - great eyes, Treehugger!

Huffington Post and the Associated Press 

To learn even more about the history of the Ecopod and the inspiration behind Hazel Selina's original design - a cross between a seedpod and an Egyptian sarcophagus - you can visit their website:

There are some wonderful stories on their press pages and they've got a small workshop in Brighton, UK, where each one is molded carefully by hand.

Ecopods_all_150pix72dpi_2TRIED AND TESTED

Hundreds of Ecopods have been successfully used throughout the UK since 1998.  The Ecopod is extremely durable - it weighs around 40+ pounds and yet even the small size can carry 200 pounds! It is covered in handmade mulberry leaf and recycled silk paper. Each color has its own silkscreened design - Blue=Doves, Red=Aztec Sun, Green=Celtic Cross. (Click here for colors and patterns).

White silk paper and Gold are also available as options.

NOTE: -- White Ecopods should be handled with gloves as the oil from your hands will stain the immaculate silk paper.


There are two sizes:

Small - 5'6" inner height, max, 150 pounds - ideal for youth and small adults
Medium - 6'0" inner height, max 200 pounds

We call the UK's "Large" a medium, as its molded shape and tapered style lend itself to a less-robust body. It can carry a lot of weight, but the fit is better for an average-sized person. Ecopod will be creating a large size in the future, but for now "it's not for every body"

ARKA-Ecopod-funera.ediel AVAILABILITY and PRICING:

The ARKA Ecopod is a handmade sculpture. It is NOT the 'cheap' natural coffin one could expect. Yes, it's made from recycled paper - and ceramic sculpture is made from dirt; even so, our suggested retail pricing for the Ecopod is just about the same as an average traditional casket price in the regular market, and it's our top-of-the-handmade line.

Due to its unique and handmade nature, the Ecopod is in extremely limited supply in both the US and the UK and pre-orders are strongly suggested. Contact the Natural Burial Company to find out about pre-ordering one if the US is out of stock, and we usually know which of our resellers may have one on hand for you.

Shipping from the UK is reasonable, given the circumstances of providing for someone's last Style Statement, and about the price of a family-member's plane ticket to the funeral.Turn around time for flight shipping is about 2-3 weeks; pre-orders can catch a ride on one of our container shipments


Ecopod Product page on the NBC Site:

Ecopod GalleryPage:

Ecopod Company Home Page




To View or Print Out:

Ecopod Handle Instructions Page - Front
Ecopod Handle Instructions Page - Back

The Ecopod arrives strapped together. We recommend leaving the coffin strapped until ready to use. There is a simple quilted cotton mattress inside. Additional natural fiber blankets or quilts can be added, as can flowers, dried herbs and sweet-smelling branches.


The Ecopods are carried with 6 metal and bamboo handles inserted through the loop ends of the straps. The metal handles can be easily removed prior to burial.  The Ecopod can be traditionally shouldered by six-pallbearers.


The Ecopod can be easily lowered by hand using either straps or ropes in the traditional manner. Placement of two 4x4 boards crosswise on the bottom for the pod to rest on will allow the straps to be removed easily. 

Remember, a shallow grave (less than 36" - 18-20" of soil maximum on top, not including the mounded earth) is preferred in a natural burial. The burial shown here is done without an outer burial vault or grave liner.

Crossecopod_at_mt_auburn_02 The Ecopod is durable and will not melt in the rain. If it does get wet, simply allow it to dry and it will re-harden to its original strength. If the paper gets damp, unless it is rubbed raw, it too should dry back to the near-original condition. There is a small amount of metal in the Ecopod - a couple of bolts hold the straps in place and there are metal and bamboo handles. If there's concern about the metal the handles and buckles can be easily removed before lowering the Ecopod into the grave.


Due to their extremely light weight, natural coffins can be lowered easily by hand. They also work just fine with traditional lowering equipment.


Most bodies have been adequately cared for before burial and, if managed properly, leakage from an unembalmed body generally does not occur. If additional protection is required, a wool pad, quilt, or thick cardboard on the bottom of the coffin, placed under the liner, should be adequate. Plastic liners are not necessary! As always,we suggest no synthetic clothes on the deceased, nor non-degradable materials in the coffin.

Biodegradable Coffins, Eco Friendly Caskets, and Ash Burial Urns for North America

NATURAL BURIAL IS the direct earth-burial of a body or cremated remains in a biodegradable container that allows the elements to return fully to the soil over time...

The Natural Burial Company sells biodegradable* coffins, caskets, urns and natural funeral goods throughout the US and into Canada (click here for the Natural Burial Company's "Good Funeral Store") . Our crafters come from around the world, where the technique of making handwoven coffins has not yet been lost, and where direct-earth burials without vaults are still common. Your requests for and purchase of these products helps keep these handarts arts alive, and challenges the funeral profession to shift to more sustainable funeral and cemetery practices - before you need them!

Natural Burial Company
Visit the Natural Burial Company's "Good Funeral Store"


Somersetwillow.purplefield Our wicker coffins and urns are sourced from tried-and-tested suppliers around the world, many of whom grow and/or harvest their own fiber. Thousands of these high-quality coffins have been buried or cremated throughout the UK -  their designs are tried and tested, and ideal for natural burial or cremation. Each year, more North American funeral homes stock these natural products, and we look forward to the day when biodegradable coffins and urns are as common as organic foods are today.

We've even designed some of these products ourselves - the Shrouding Board(TM) and the Caskit(TM) are two of our favorites, inspired by the need for dignified shroud burial and natural DIY shipped-flat caskets that can be built or decorated at home. We work to find products for burial and cremation that lower the energy footprint, honor ecological preferences, and are made of non-synthetic and biodegradable materials. View those we offer at retail in our online natural coffin gallery and store or contact us directly for more information for either wholesale, retail, or custom-coffin options..



To locate a natural funeral service provider we suggest you visit the Natural End Map for a list of funeral directors and cemetery operators who have signed The Natural End Map -  natural funeral service provider networkthe "Natural End Pledge." They promise to provide "natural funeral basics" like funerals without embalming and biodegradable caskets, and help clients find a nearby cemetery that offers burial without vaults or liners between body and earth. Natural End Pledge Signers often go far beyond the bare minimum, offering you creative celebrations, receptions with organic food, and even retrofitting their funeral homes to refrigerate you with solar power and compost the leftovers from your Last Big Party. Visit them on the Map, and if you don't see your favorite natural funeral provider there, encourage them to sign up soon.


We use our Natural Burial Company's facebook page to recommend BOOKS AND MEDIA, keep track of alternative funeral news, and share opinions about the natural burial movement wherever we can. Sign up to stay in touch with articles, tips and updates on the movement worldwide, and add your two cents, too!

We sell we sell biodegradable coffins and shrouds retail AND through funeral service providers and we can ship almost anywhere. This means that anyone can get a biodegradable coffin, shroud or urn, whether or not they can find a funeral director to provide one. However, ANY funeral director can order a Natural Burial Company product on your behalf. Check and compare prices - they may offer better better ones than we do, once you factor in shipping and the other services you receive from a funeral professional.


*NOTE: biodegradable coffins and urns must be buried in proper soil conditions in order to biodegrade in a timeframe normally expected of burial in a cemetery.