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  • Archdiocesan Catholic Cemeteries director Peter Nobes, who runs Gardens of Gethsemani cemetery just north of the border in Surrey, British Columbia, says  alternatives to traditional burials might make a smaller footprint on the environment, but do not offer a body the dignity it deserves.

  • An article in The Conversation says "there’s a lack of new cemetery space in parts of Australia but we could solve that problem by burying the dead among newly planted vegetation belts near our towns and cities. Burial Belt is a proposal we’ve been working on for reinventing the Australian cemetery landscape by creating near-limitless land for burial. Our idea is currently on exhibition at the Oslo Architecture Triennale, in Norway."

  • Have you thought about what will happen to your body after you die? Nationally there has been increased demand for natural and eco burials from families looking for an environmentally friendly option for their loved one.

  • AULandscape.jpgThe Australian Institute of Landscape Architects recently handed out their trophies for landscape architecture projects at the National Landscape Architecture Awards.

    From urban hospital gardens to penguin viewing areas, from gorge trails to cultural precincts, all the projects focused on green spaces and sustainably minded infrastructure ‘to promote health, social and economic prosperity for urban and regional communities’.

    The Guardian has a montage of the award winners on its website.

  • An Australian innovation has allowed cremated human remains to be buried under trees in memorial forests.  Cremated human remains contain high levels of sodium which can damage the composition of soil and prevent a plant from thriving. The innovation adds microbes to human ashes to neutralise pH and sodium levels which then allows the ashes to be infused with soil around trees.

  • green burialBack in August 2016 we told you about Jane Pickard who offered two of 16 hectares of her property near Armidale (NSW) to be the site for a natural burial ground.

    The Armidale Express recently carried and article reporting on progress at the site;

  • According to a story filed by the ABC,  the Gold Coast Mayor has proposed exhuming bodies from the city's overcrowded cemeteries to then rebury them stacked on top each other — the current policy of new burial plot purchases.

  • The ritual of burying a dead body is so deeply ingrained in religious and cultural history that few of us take a moment to question it, according to an article at Business Insider. 

    Richard Bryant/Wikimedia CommonsBut when you dig into the statistics, the process of preserving and sealing corpses into caskets and then plunging them into the ground is extremely environmentally unfriendly.

    Toxic chemicals from the embalming, burial, and cremation process leach into the air and soil, and expose funeral workers to potential hazards. And maintaining the crisp, green memorial plots is extremely land-and-water-heavy.

    For this reason, scientists and conservationists have been looking into more eco-friendly ways to die.


  • The Agenda for Byron Shire Council's meeting on the 28th Nov 2019 includes a motion   Identify a suitable parcel of Council land for the purposes of establishing a Natural Burial Ground for the community.

  • All of NSW is now effectively in drought, with widespread fires and possible extreme temperatures making the situation worse. Water shortages are no longer confined to the west of the Great Dividing Range, with coastal areas now at risk. Some coastal rivers have ceased to flow, or have record-breaking low flows, and many commercial licence holders are no longer permitted to pump because of low river levels. 

  • Our traditional ways of dealing with death are changing, with Earth-friendly concerns sparking a surge in eco burials.

  • Heritage Near me NSW logoBe advised the opening of applications for two of the Heritage Near Me grant streams, which will see nearly $5 million available in the next financial year for local heritage projects.

    The Local Heritage Strategic Projects program grants are being offered for the first time, while the Heritage Activation Grant Program has opened round 2.

  • In a world that mostly recognises the causes of pollution and the risks that it poses it is intruiging that in many parts of India traditional wood pyres continue to be in demand to cremate the dead. But every now and then there is news of prefectures attempting to introduce more eco friendly solutions. The latest is from the Shivamogga district. After a previous attempt to introduce modern crematorium failed to gain acceptance, it has now been modified to suit local customs and rites.

  • Emma Sheppard-Simms has a Conversation article on the ABC (AU) website claiming  that in Australia, interment in a cemetery or a churchyard has been the most common choices for in-ground burial. But over the past 20 years, though, burial has become a less accessible and more costly option for many people. This is because increasing numbers of deaths have created a boom in demand for burial plots and cemeteries are fast running out of space. Can composting replace burial?

  • its0nlynatural.jpg A Natural burial ground in New Zealand is providing a forest with a new lease of life.

    A natural burial project at Waikumete Cemetery in west Auckland is helping individuals make environmentally friendly choices in death, while giving a native forest a chance to thrive.  Waikumete is New Zealand's largest cemetery and one of the country's largest urban parks.  Since 1886, it has served as the main cemetery for the Auckland region.  In 1999, it became the first cemetery in New Zealand to open an eco or natural burial area.

  • Dear friends,

    I'm so glad to be able to share our new animated video with you today. It tells about the innovative new model of death care we are creating thanks to the support of people like you. It's part of a fundraiser we are running right now, to fund the prototype and pilot of the recomposition system. It's happening.

  • graham boydAccording to the Sydney Morning Herald, one of Sydney's largest and oldest cemeteries is trying to squeeze more bodies per burial plot, in a bid to address Sydney's looming shortfall of burial spaces.

    From next year, Sydney families will be able to bury their loved ones in specially-designed plots designed to hold as many as 11 remains on a single site, at the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park in Matraville.

  • Cemeteries & Crematoria NSW have notified us that a report been prepared in order to review the role cemeteries can play in the management and preservation of environmental and heritage values.

  • During the past week we tweeted and retweeted about urban cemeteries becoming the new art galleries, the need to talk about death, a couple of old cemeteries in the USA, the first USA cemetery to allow eco friendly "human composting", a police pursuit of a streaker in a cemetery, a timely warning about commonly hacked passwords, a charming video reflection on the great botanical illustrator Stan Kelly, another art exhibition, this time in a crematorium, Christine Smyth's journey into talk back radio, cemetery fee hikes in New Zealand, a UK cemetery opening a section for sports fans, and much more...

    Our full Twitter feed is here.