The Apennines woods are the result of an age-old interaction between man and nature and represent a heritage and a wealth that can only be preserved if well looked after. This is what Boschi Vivi does, giving those who choose our services the possibility of burying their ashes in a beautiful place
Anselma and Giacomo are walking along the road that crosses their woods. They are in Martina d’Olba, an outlying hamlet in the municipality of Urbe (in the province of Savona), on the Ligurian Apennines. They have equipped them to provide a completely new service in Italy, offering the possibility of burying human and/or animal ashes at the foot of a chosen tree, in biodegradable urns: an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional cemeteries. The cooperative society they have formed with their friends Camilla and Riccardo is called: Boschi Vivi.
Walking with them are Stelvio and Marina, a couple from Genoa. They are just over sixty and have a son. They explain: “We have chosen a tree that can host up to four people”. Marina continues: “I had already decided I wanted to be cremated and had left a written note asking for my ashes to be scattered into the sea. But then, we found this. What a beautiful thing! We came for a first visit, we saw these wonderful trees, the birds and a plaque on a tree remembering that there is life there. I liked it”.
Stelvio and Marina have chosen a family tree, one of the four options offered by Boschi Vivi. The idea was conceived in 2014. The enterprise, a cooperative society, was set up two years later, after Anselma Lovens, born in 1987, took part in ReStartApp and won the first prize. “We wanted to explore the possibility of an innovative start up looking to promote the value of woods, as we firmly believe that the protection and correct use of natural resources are the keys for the development of new lifestyles, relying on a more balanced relationship between man and the environment. We became interested in this type of projects, which we had seen abroad, and soon found out that the national legislation has been allowing the scattering of ashes in natural places other than cemeteries since 2001” explains Anselma.
Boschi Vivi offers its users four different types of trees: a community tree can host up to 10 people, who don’t necessarily need to be friends or family; a personal tree welcomes the ashes of just one person; a family tree has up to four places; and then there is a couple tree. “Prices vary from € 900 to € 12 thousand, making the service affordable also to people with a lower budget” explains Giacomo Marchiori.
In addition to the decision of whether one wishes to share their burial ground with someone else or not, variables that affect the price include trunk size, tree variety, and accessibility. An area of the woods is dedicated to animals and another to people who wish to be buried with their pets.
The contracts in place with Boschi Vivi can last from 20 to 40 years and, in this case too, prices – which are paid as a lump sum upon signing of the lease – vary. The attention given to the services offered and the management of the woods by the cooperative is growing constantly. From June 2018 to August 2019, the info days in the woods were attended by 26 people, but as many as 14 people will be meeting in Urbe for the next appointment on 28 September 2019.