Human composting: what you should know and why you should do it

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This revolutionary idea is an alternative when a loved one dies

Human composting: what you should know and why you should do it

Although it sounds crazy, human composting is an alternative when a person dies. In addition to traditional burial and cremation, a person's remains can become useful elements for the environment. In fact, human remains can become fertile land.

Leer en español: Compostaje humano: lo que debes saber y por qué deberías hacerlo

According to the BBC, "the final resting place of a person could be the foundation of a flower bed or could feed the roots of a tree." This approach could soon be legal in Washington, because human composting would become an option to bury people if the bill that is being processed is approved.

Washington would be the first Western state to approve this type of burial if the initiatives - SB 5001 and HB 1162  are approved.

What is human composting about?

Giving back to the planet a little of what it gave us in life. This is the argument that Katrina Spade and her company defend Recompose. Spade leads the movement in Washington and ensures that human remains can become useful and fertile land in less than 30 days. Everything is part of the natural decomposition process that we often ignore.

The page of this company explains that the alternative they offer allows us to give life after dying when becoming useful and fertile land. Unlike traditional options, with composting we can honor our loved one and the planet at the same time.

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In practical terms, on the benefits for the environment, the company affirms that when opting for human composting, one metric ton of coal per person can be saved. This is a breakthrough, especially in climate change, as CO2 emissions are significantly reduced.

Additionally, there are other advantages such as:

  • Minimize waste
  • Avoid contamination of groundwater with embalming fluid
  • Avoid CO2 emissions from cremation and the manufacture of coffins, tombstones, and coatings

Recompose is committed to "changing the current paradigm of attention to death by offering a gently, human and ecological model" It should be noted that this initiative, beyond the economic benefit, seeks to benefit the environment and offer the population an ethical and beneficial alternative to the planet.

What is the process?

In the minds of many, this process can be degrading or disrespectful to the being who died. However, as Recompose explains, this is an event that seeks to dignify who died and the environment.

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The BBC reports that "the Recompose offer method is based on the ways in which we already composted the cattle, with some changes from the soil science researcher at Washington State University, Professor Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, to make the mix is more socially acceptable. The final process consists of placing the body in a mixture of wood chips and similar composting materials, which allows microbes and thermophilic (heat-loving) bacteria to get to work."

Once this process is carried out, the remains of a person become a cubic yard of fertile soil. At the moment, there is no fixed fee for this service. If you want to know more about this process, consult the Recompose page.


LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
Translated from "Compostaje humano: lo que debes saber y por qué deberías hacerlo"