The ritual of burying remains is considered to be one of the first indicators of "culture" in human evolution, perhaps meaning that how we bury loved ones is a hallmark of who we are as a people. If so, the recent increase in ecological burial options is not just a wacky trend, but a sign that social consciousness about the environment has reached a deeper level. To help those interested in more natural burials, the Trust for Natural Legacies Inc., a Madison, Wisconsin based non-profit group, plans to establish cemeteries that would use a small piece of conservation property for burials, and protect the rest as a natural area and park.
"Cemeteries take up a lot of land, and that land is changed from either forest land or prairie land into something that's just made for our use, and there's no reason that we need to maintain that land for our use over centuries," says Bill Moore, a supporter of the Trust. In the coming month, the Green Burial Council plans to announce guidelines that will standardize the practices used in ecologically sensitive burials. "We're trying to just set the ground rules (for burial) so it's done in an appropriate fashion," said Joe Sehee, the group's founder and executive director. Standards will be especially critical for certifying green burial practices to ensure that proper care is taken for both the remains and the natural landscape. ::Via Milwaukee Journal Sentinal