And To Dust You Shall Return

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The state of Oregon passed a bill to allow human composting. This doesn’t mean that humans can compost. It means that human bodies can BE composted.

Oregon is the third state to do this. Washington and Colorado allow it and New York and Delaware are considering it.

The end-of-life industry is incredibly carbon-intensive. Cremating and embalming a body requires a large number of fossil fuels and casket burials have been shown to leak toxins into soil and waterways. An alternative process is called “natural organic reduction.” It breaks the human body down like an apple or forest animal. It’s poetic and beautiful once you get over the initial ick-factor.

A company called Recompose in Washington specializes in this process. They place the corpse in a cylinder with organic material like straw and plants. It is turned over for several weeks until the body breaks down into nutrient-rich soil that can be sent back to the family for planting. It is not much different than scattering ashes of a loved one in a yard, only instead of ashes from a fossil fuel ignition, it is organic compost of your beloved so that they can regrow life in your garden once again.




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