Workshops focusing on DIY eco-coffins and natural burials are proving popular in South Australia. The first program, held in Gawler, South Australia, was quickly booked out when it launched in October and has since moved online due to social gathering restrictions.
In an article on the ABC's website organiser Abby Buckley is quoted as saying "It's actually worked to our advantage — having the pandemic and people being able to be in their own cocoon and own space to really think about what death is for them and how they want to their body to be treated when they die."
- Workshop organiser Abby Buckley said more people want to learn about dying sustainably
- Adelaide Cemeteries Authority's Robert Pitt said "natural burials" make good business sense
Participants have shared their creations — made by crocheting, sewing, felting and painting — and received online talks from experts about dying sustainably.
"In Australia, the majority of people are really trying hard to change their ways to live a sustainable life," Ms Buckley said.
Growing numbers of people seeking 'natural burials'
Since 2008, more than 170 people have chosen a natural burial at Wirra Wonga in Adelaide's northern suburbs.
The area hugs the perimeter of the Enfield Memorial Park and mirrors the native vegetation of adjacent Folland Park Reserve.
It was the first dedicated site in Australia where bodies could be naturally buried in biodegradable coffins or wrappings.
Graves are marked with trees instead of headstones.
"I think for people who are passionate about sustainability, have a lot of values about conservation, this is an appealing process and appealing way to say farewell to the planet," Adelaide Cemeteries Authority chief executive Robert Pitt said.
He said natural burials provided consumer choice but also made good business sense.