Exploring Human Composting

Seeing the phrase "human composting" can be jarring, and raise several questions - What is it? How does it work? A fairly new form of eco-friendly after-death care, human composting adds yet another option for those looking for a "greener" choice.


Much like green burials or aquamation, this is a natural way for the eco-conscious person to benefit the earth, even in death.


What is Human Composting?


Human composting is a process that naturally decomposes a body with organic reduction - much like a kitchen compost functions. According to a recent CNN article: "The body is placed in a vessel along with wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. Over a month, microbes work to break the body down into a cubic yard of soil, which can then be used in a loved one’s garden, or anywhere else."


What are the Advantages of Human Composting?


Like other green options, human composting does not contribute to C02 emissions like other service options. In fact, it absorbs C02 with the decomposition process. Additionally, those choosing human composting can have their decomposed remains used to plant trees and give back to the environment. This adds another layer to the benefits for the environmentally-conscious funeral arranger.


What are the Disadvantages of Human Composting?


Currently, human composting is only legal in 5 states: Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, and most recently, California. While there is a push to legalize it in more states, it may be difficult to access the service in states located farther away from these. Advocates hope it will be accessible to all in the near future.