Washington is currently the only U.S state that has made it legal to turn human bodies into compost. Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington, recently signed a bill that allows valid facilities to provide the option of “natural organic reduction” opposed to traditional methods of burial or cremation.
How it works
The method is founded on the basis of livestock composting, a tool wielded by farmers for many years. The technique involves mixing the body with pieces of wood and straw to turn it into soil in only a few weeks. This process was performed on half a dozen terminally sick patients who donated their bodies to the cause. Scientist Lynne Carpenter-Boggs of Washington State University, says that the result was soil that is clean, rich, and odorless. The soil also passed every state and federal safety principles for pollutants and dangerous pathogens that could exist.
Washington is home to a number of cemeteries that offer burial without gravestones, coffins, or embalming. CEO and founder of Recompose, Katina Spade, plans on utilizing this unconventional method. On the Recompose website they say, “Our service – recomposition – gently converts human remains into soil, so that we can nourish new life after we die. Our modular system uses nature’s principles to return our bodies to the earth, sequestering carbon and improving soil health. In fact, we’ve calculated carbon savings over a metric tonne per person.”
For many years, numerous religions have embraced the preservation of their deceased through a variety of methods. But these days, environmental impact has become a major concern, leading to a greater consideration of human composting. Since 2005, Sweden legalized the technique of freeze-drying the bodies, then vibrating them slowly to fracture into a powder form which can then be buried in a shallow grave where it is drawn in by the soil.