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A natural burial involves placing the body into the ground with a simple shroud or biodegradable casket. No vaults are used. The body is not chemically treated. The goal of a natural burial is to return the body back to the earth and for it to become part of the earth's ecosystem again. It is allowed to decompose naturally.
Natural burials are done in designated natural burial grounds. They are usually park like settings. A visitor is meant to see a meadow or wooded area rather than a field of headstones. Some of the natural burial grounds allow small headstones or markers, but they must be unobtrusive. Others do not allow any type of headstone. The graves are marked with the planting of a tree or bush or the placing of a stone. Native vegetation, wildflowers and wildlife are encouraged.
Natural burials are becoming more popular and these type of burial grounds are spreading.