Usually, people have two options when it comes to what they want to do with their body after death – cremation or burial. Now with Washington becoming the first US state to legalize human body composting, people there have a third alternative.
The bill, signed by Governor and climate-focused presidential candidate Jay Inslee, would allow people who die in Washington after May 2020 to forgo burial or cremation and have their bodies turned into soil through a process called recomposition.
“Recomposition offers an alternative to embalming and burial or cremation that is natural, safe, sustainable, and will result in significant savings in carbon emissions and land usage,” Katrina Spade, who worked to develop the process and lobbied for the bill, told AFP.
Spade and her colleagues place a body in a steel container filled with alfalfa, wood chips and straw and let it sit for around 30 days. At the end of that period, the body decomposes into two wheelbarrows of soil that can be used to plant flowers or trees.