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The World’s First Human Composting Facility for Funeral Services

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Recompose will offer an alternative to traditional burial and cremation. In about 30 days, human remains will be transformed into nutrient-rich soil.

Death is a profound and essential part of life, even though it is beyond our understanding. A healing and comforting way to go is to become soil when you die.

The end of life, though heart-wrenching, can be beautiful. With a practical and meaningful approach, Recompose connects the end of life to the natural world.

It’s a universal truth that death is common to all of us. Our bodies are then either cremated or buried. The people of Washington have a new option available to them when deciding what to do with their bodies. This process is called ‘natural organic reduction’ and was introduced by a company named ‘Recompose.’ 

This process will transform the human body slowly into the soil to ensure the continuum of the life cycle after a person passes away. Recompose will open in 2021.

It is designed in a way that has a low environmental impact. The process improves soil health as well as sequesters CO2. According to the research done by this company, it was found that human composting saves over one metric ton of CO2 per person. Recompose will be opening its first facility in spring 2021. The new facility is 18,500 square-foot. 

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This new method came into action after the state revised its laws regarding after-death services and made human composting legal. 

There are so many benefits of human composting such as, minimizing waste, eliminating the possibility of polluting groundwater with embalming fluids, reducing the CO2 emissions from cremation, and being cost-prohibitive. 

This whole process is estimated at $5,500. Although it costs more than cremation, the price limit is below many funerals. Recompose CEO Katrina Spade founded the human composting process. 

With the help of Dr. Lynne, a professor of Organic Agriculture from the Washington State University, they conducted a successful trial using six dead bodies. The bodies were converted into rich soil after 30 days. 

This soil can be used to grow new life. The dead body is placed in a modular, reusable vessel and is covered with wood chips, hay, and alfalfa. It is then aerated, letting natural microbes and beneficial bacteria do their job. At the end of the process, a cubic yard of soil is created. The family members or friends are allowed to take the soil for personal use. 

Isn’t this such an eco-friendly method that allows us to give back to nature?

Something to think about: Rich earth is continually replenished by dry leaves, fallen trees, and bright moss. New roots spread through each layer, drawing nutrients into branches high above. The company Recompose uses the principles of nature to transform our beloved deceased into soil.

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Bear in mind the average funeral costs are roughly between $7,000 and $12,000, which includes burial and viewing. The basic service fees also include transporting remains to a funeral home, the casket, embalming, and all other preparations. The basic average cost of a funeral with cremation is about $6,000 to $7,000.

If someone dies without financial means or no one to take responsibility to pay for a funeral, the local authority must bury or cremate them. It’s called a ‘public health funeral,’ which includes a coffin and a funeral director to transport them to the crematorium or cemetery.

For more info and image credits: Recompose

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