Forest Rest Natural Cemetery in Boones Mill is the only burial location of its type within a hundred plus miles. This alternative to what is now considered “traditional burial” is actually the method used until the mid-1800s in the United States. It remains widely practiced in other cultures, but is regaining interest in America. Natural burial employs no chemical embalming, no vault, and no expensive casket (although options include a biodegradable linen shroud or plain wooden box). These features minimize a burial “footprint” on the environment. For families, many of the major costs of “traditional” funerals/burials are eliminated. Another carbon-emission reducing step is the family’s option for the gravesite to be dug by hand. Further, at Forest Rest, in order to sustain the natural setting, elaborate grave markers are shunned. If families wish to have a marker for site identification, these usually consist of stones natural to the grounds, with simple memorial sentiments etched into them.