If you look at what happens to a body before burial, a lot of it is about denying the natural process - filling the body with embalming fluid to stop it decaying, putting it in a very strong box, and digging a hole so deep that the natural organisms in the soil can't reach it.
Back 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;
A PIONEERING project for a natural burial ground has supporters digging deep to ensure a new site is located in Armidale.
“Earth funerals” will offer people the opportunity to be buried on the site in a biodegradable coffin or shroud and without being treated by preserving chemicals such as embalming fluids.
Burnie City Council in Tasmania has been petitioned by 142 sigantories calling for information about natural burial to be on the council website.
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.
But 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.
Nothing is more devastating than the death of a loved one. You’re not thinking clearly, and it’s not a good time to make practical decisions. Thankfully, you can call a funeral home, and they will take care of everything for you. Well, maybe that’s not always the best option, says Roxanne Walsh, who lives in Halifax and helps people plan funerals and supports survivors through the grieving process after a death occurs.
Our traditional ways of dealing with death are changing, with Earth-friendly concerns sparking a surge in eco burials.
Burial practices among Catholics are rapidly changing in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, prompting Catholic church leaders in those countries to formally address the issue, according to an article in the Jesuit Review.
The ABC (AU) has an open piece from Asha Dooley, general manager at Grace Funerals, who says "It starts with a phone call. "That can be prior to someone's passing, or it could be after they've died," The bereaved communicate their wishes during this first phone call, and sometimes also meet with the funeral director. And then the nuanced logistical exercise of planning a funeral gets underway.
It's a farmers' market! One of Britain's largest agricultural businesses which spreads across THREE counties goes on sale for £200million (with 33,000 acres, 120 homes and its own natural burial ground, according the Daily Mail.
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.
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.
There is a push in Narrogin for natural burials to be made available in the town’s cemetery. Former Narrogin deputy mayor Arthur Paternoster is urging the Shire of Narrogin to look into providing the option locally.
Bunurong Memorial Park has announced the upcoming release of Murrun Naroon ‘Life Spirit’, a new and unique natural burial option positioned in a beautiful native bushland environment at Bunurong Memorial Park.
A long read at The Guardian about the problem of space in cemeteries, particularly in our cities, is forcing a rethink of the way we bury our dead. Read it here
For the past few months, I've been laser focused on two things: preparing to build a prototype of our Recomposition system at Washington State University, and spreading the word that a new model of death care is possible.
Sometimes, it feels like I'm bouncing back and forth between the present and the future. Present tense: working with engineers to run tests on the prototype design. Future tense: talking with audiences at SVP Fast Pitch and SXSW Eco about the day when every person will have access to meaningful, sustainable death care. Present tense: corresponding with Washington State University about construction permits. Future tense: speaking with the press about our goal to have Recomposition Centers in every city in the world.
The ABC website asks "At the risk of sounding like an insurance ad, what do you want to happen to you when you die?".