New Human Compost Funerals Are ‘Better For Environment’ Than Burial Or Cremation

New Human Compost Funerals Are 'Better For Environment' Than Burial Or Cremation

Funerals are usually in the form of burials or cremations, but now there’s a new process on the horizon and it’s much more environmentally friendly.

‘Human composting’ is a method that takes around 30 days for the deceased person’s soft tissue to completely break down. The human remains are turned into about a cubic yard of soil per person.

Man holding soil in graveyard
New Human Compost Funerals Are ‘Better For Environment’ Than Burial Or Cremation

Recompose, the company hoping to put this practice into effect in Seattle in February 2021, will allow family and friends to take some, or all, of the soil home to grow a tree or a garden with and any remains will nourish conservation land.

The firm, which was founded by Katrina Spade, claims the process saves more than a tonne of carbon, compared to a cremation or burial which are said to be environmentally harmful and, for some, psychologically unsatisfying.

Speaking to the BBC, Katrina said: “So far 15,000 people have signed up to our newsletter. And the legislation to allow this in the state received bi-partisan support enabling it to pass the first time it was tabled.

man holding two plastic bags of compost
Katrina Spade, founder of Recompose. In her right hand she holds compost material from the decomposition of a cow; in her left, wood chips, alfalfa and straw used in the process. Credit: Shutterstock

“The project has moved forward so quickly because of the urgency of climate change and the awareness we have to put it right.”

Katrina, 43, came up with the idea for the business when she was 30 and began to think about her own death.

She told the publication: “When I die, this planet, which has protected and supported me my whole life, shouldn’t I give back what I have left? It is just logical and also beautiful.”

An artist's impression of a future Recompose facility
An artist’s impression of a future Recompose facility. Credit: Recompose/MOLT Studios

According to Recompose’s website, they are hoping to begin working on funerals in February 2021 and they are aiming for a price of $5,500 (£4,230). Although they are based in Seattle, they are hoping to accept bodies from out of the state or country.

The website states: “You can either work with a local funeral home in your area to arrange transportation, or families can transport the body themselves.

“Please be aware that local laws on transport vary, and moving a body may require an appropriate permit and specialised container depending on regulations in your area.”

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Written by Louise

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