New Hampshire’s Life Forest Leads The Nation: First Conservation Cemetery To Bury Composted Remains

Funeral Industry News Funeral Industry Press Releases September 1, 2021

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New Hampshire’s Life Forest Leads The Nation: First Conservation Cemetery To Bury Composted Remains

HILLSBOROUGH, NH: Announcing the cemetery of the future; Life Forest, is the first cemetery to legally offer burial of human and pet composted remains in a deed-recorded cemetery plot where the bereaved can plant a native tree species of their choice to serve as a memorial marker. This new burial option offers a greener alternative to cremation and traditional burial practices. 

Increased demand for eco-friendly death care choices has recently led to new methods for the disposition of human remains. The latest, approved for the first time in May 2019 by the Washington State Legislature and quickly spreading across the United States, is Natural Organic Reduction: a form of human composting. This process, pioneered by Katrina Spade of Recompose,  offers a solution that, according to Spade, is “a dramatically new approach that reconnects death to natural cycles of life.” Natural Organic Reduction is a managed biological process which transforms human remains into soil over the course of 30 days. It requires only one eighth the energy of conventional burial or cremation and for each person who chooses NOR over conventional burial or cremation, one metric ton of CO2 is saved from entering the environment. 

 While composting human bodies may seem revolutionary, the concept itself is not new; farmers and agricultural institutions have been using Livestock Mortality Composting for decades. Services such as Compassionate Composting of Auburn, Maine, offer respectful, sustainable, earth-friendly animal composting to bereaved pet owners. Michelle Melaragno, owner of Compassionate Composting, composts beloved horses, livestock, and pets and the remains form a finished soil amendment. 

For generations families have opted for traditional burial, as this serves the purpose of protecting legacy through cemetery records. With new and more eco-friendly options available for disposition of humans and pets, Life Forest provides a means for legacy protection for families and land conservation in adherence with key tenants of cemetery law. As scattering of ashes and planting of human and pet compost become popular disposition options, the ‘marriage’ of planting a new tree within a deed recorded burial spot, utilizing human and or pet compost, guarantees legal legacy protection for families. It also provides a nurturing and healing place to visit and gives back to the earth in which we live, truly protecting future generations. 

About Life Forest®:

Life Forest is a conservation cemetery located amongst a natural forest where trees are planted to memorialize loved ones. Life Forest believes that a compassionate burial experience, and the planting of a tree, fosters an environment of healing after loss. The cemetery is surrounded by 80 acres of conservation land where families and friends of loved ones can hike numerous trails and swim in nearby creeks. Life Forest fosters a community of healing, hosting free acoustical concerts, shared memorial gardens, and educational opportunities to those in the environmental science and deathcare industries. Long-term forest management and plot maintenance is managed by the Life Forest Trails Commission and, because the trees act as burial monuments, they are protected under cemetery law and legally recorded with burial plot GPS data to the Life Forest Deed.