Under the heading of ashes to ashes, funk to funky, Catherine Tsai of the Associated Press reported this week that Ecoffins USA, based in Montrose, Colo., is selling biodegradable caskets made of banana sheaves. The firm’s marketing director, Joanna Passarelli, told Tsai that the company sold $40,000 worth of banana-sheaf or bamboo coffins to funeral homes last year and that at least 14 funeral homes in the U.S. offer them. The “green” or natural burial movement is a growing one. In natural burials, bodies eventually decompose into the earth. They are not embalmed, a process which may involve the use of toxic chemicals that eventually leach into the ground. Casket makers catering to natural burials have offered coffins made of such materials as newspaper or cardboard. Ecoffins USA, according to Tsai, is the sister company of The SAWD Partnership, which helped fuel a "green" funeral movement in Britain. The banana coffins take six months to two years to decompose.