The Eco Coffin Project is looking for 10 curious people to participate in a 6-week program commencing early in 2020 to explore, inform and create a very personal story of what sustainable death means to each of them.

The group will meet weekly in Gawler for a 3-hour session from 9am-12pm with morning tea provided.

Over this consecutive 6-week period we will have guest speakers, site visits, workshops and making and decorating time for either an eco-coffin or organic shroud that each person will own and take home at the end of the project.

The project will culminate in a Death Café and public Art Exhibition of the decorated eco-coffins and organic shrouds as a way to further engage the wider community in starting the conversation around what is a sustainable death?


The exciting Eco Coffin Project program for 2020 is shaping up as follows:

Week 1: The Big Picture

  • Program overview
  • Introductions
  • Pushing Up Daisies workshop

Week 2: Out and About

  • Crematorium site visit
  • Natural Burial Ground site visit

Week 3: Inspiration

  • Guest Speakers: Local Artists
  • Plan your design
  • Eco-Coffin assembly and organising shroud materials

Week 4: Making & Decorating

  • Guest Speaker: End-of-Life Guide
  • Decorating eco-coffins and shrouds

Week 5: Making & Decorating

  • Guest Speaker: Funeral Director
  • Decorating eco-coffins and shrouds

Week 6: Making & Decorating

  • Group reflection activity
  • Decorating eco-coffins and shrouds

Public Art Exhibition & Death Cafe

Program facilitator

The program facilitator is Abby Buckley. Abby is a Social Ecologist, Bush Adventure Therapy Leader and Celebrant who finds guidance and inspiration from nature on how to positively embrace death in our everyday lives so we feel connected, empowered and enlivened. Death Cafes, Before I Die Walls, Death Over Dinner and Dying To Know Days are some of the conversation-starting community events she has facilitated in Gawler over the last 5 years along with being an event speaker on topics such as Natural Burial. She facilitates her Pushing Up Daisies workshop for participants keen to develop a toolkit to create their end-of-life plan that matches their budget and sustainability values. Her network and knowledge of the industry developed during her year at Adelaide Cemeteries Authority. She is so passionate about this topic that she is currently doing social research on embracing death in our ordinary everyday for her PhD thesis. Through her celebrancy business she creates personalised, values-based ceremonies and rituals to assist people meaningfully navigate love, loss & life; making moments matter.

Thanks to our sponsors

This is a not-for-profit community project hosted by Gawler Environment Centre. Thanks to the generous support from our sponsors: Town of Gawler, Adelaide & Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board via the Gawler Environment Centre, Adelaide Cemeteries Authority, Link Edge and Abby Buckley, Our Family Celebrant; the investment to be part of this exciting new initiative is reduced to just $50 per person.

Register your interest

There are only 10 places available – so be quick! To register your interest to be a participant in the 2020 Eco Coffin Project send us an email with your contact details to and we will be in touch.

In our next post, we will share where the idea for the Eco Coffin Project originated.

Thank you to our sponsors: Gawler Environment Centre, Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board, Adelaide Cemeteries Authority, Town of Gawler, Link Edge, Abby Buckley Our Family Celebrant
Thank you to our sponsors