May 21, 2024
California is set to offer the option of “natural organic reduction," otherwise known as human composting, for burials.

California is set to offer the option of “natural organic reduction,” otherwise known as human composting, for burials.

The process involves a funeral service provider placing the body in a steel case, surrounded by wood chips, straw, and alfalfa, in which they decompose in a controlled process for around 30 days, according to Smithsonian Magazine. One human body produces 1 to 2 cubic yards of compost, which can then be used as fertilizer, particularly for conservation projects or gardens.

State regulators must create a program regulating the practice by 2027 in California, per a recent bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), according to NBC News.

Human Body Composting
A container of compost produced from human remains is shown at Recompose, a company that composts human remains into soil.
Ted S. Warren/AP

WASHINGTON STATE NOW ALLOWS YOU TO COMPOST YOUR GRANDMOTHER INSTEAD OF BURYING HER

“Picture the forest floor. Rich earth continually replenished by fallen trees, dry leaves, and bright moss. New roots reach through each layer, drawing nutrients into branches high above. Recompose uses the principles of nature to transform our dead into soil,” writes Recompose, the leading provider of the service in the United States, headquartered in Seattle.

The company presents itself as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional burial practices.

“Cremation burns fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide and particulates into the atmosphere. Conventional burial consumes valuable urban land, pollutes the soil, and contributes to climate change through resource-intensive manufacture and transport of caskets, headstones, and grave liners,” the company writes.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Washington became the first state to legalize the practice in 2019, followed by Colorado, Oregon, and Vermont, according to the magazine.

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