Natural burials in Adelaide and South Australia

Don’t overlook the importance of the ceremony in a natural burial

Planning a natural burial? Don’t overlook the importance of the ceremony in creating a time that reflects your life’s philosophy.

Planning a natural burial in Adelaide or South Australia? Don’t overlook the importance of the ceremony in crafting a funeral that reflects your life’s philosophy.

What is a natural burial?

Natural burials are a key consideration in green funerals where people are seeking to have the lowest environmental impact in the disposal if their body. In a natural burial, the body is buried to optimise the breakdown and minimise the release of methane. The body is buried in a wicker casket or shroud that will break down more quickly and completely than a traditional coffin. In natural burial grounds, there are rarely headstones. Instead, the grounds feature trees, shrubs and other natural features.

In Adelaide, there are currently two natural burial sites both administered by the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority. One is at at Enfield Memorial Park, and the other is at the Smithfield Memorial Park. Each of these spaces is defined by its natural beauty, tranquility and simplicity.

Is natural burial more environmentally sensitive than cremation?

There isn’t a straightforward answer to this, and there are always changes. Changes and developments are often reported in the media.

How hard is it to organise a natural burial?

Organising a natural burial is no different to organising a cremation or traditional burial. In Adelaide, most funeral directors will be able to help you. If you would like to talk it through, please feel free to get in touch. The Adelaide Cemeteries Authority has this pamphlet outlining the logistical and legal details involved in a natural burial. They also hold regular talks and events that help the community to better understand this option.

Don’t overlook the ceremony

When you are organising a natural burial, the range of funeral options are all still open to you. And of course, you are also able to build your funeral or memorial the way you want it to be.

“Even the shortest of funeral ceremonies can reflect your life’s philosophy, giving people who attend a deep and lasting reminder of your spirit and your essence.”

So as you plan a natural burial–choosing your site, deciding whether to use a shroud or a coffin–don’t overlook the importance of the ceremony. Even the shortest of funeral ceremonies can reflect your life’s philosophy. This gives people who attend a deep and lasting reminder of your spirit and essence. There is, for example, a lot of beautiful Australian poetry which is rarely used at funerals, but would be especially suitable for a natural burial. A.D. Hope’s amazing The Death of the Bird–a work he read at his own wife’s funeral–is just one example.

I’m guessing that people who choose natural burials for family members are more likely to want to lead the ceremony themselves. This is only a hunch and I have no evidence. But in case I’m right, I’m writing more blog posts to help you write a ceremony. I’ll include possible structures, suggested poems and tips for presentation. In the meantime, if you are considering a natural burial and would like ideas or advice for the service, please feel free to get in touch.

This post is part of a series of blog posts about your choices surrounding burial and cremation. You can read about direct cremation here.