Human composting is an eco-friendly method of processing remains and is growing in popularity. This is because of the many advantages that it brings to the table. It can save space, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as give people a level of control over how the process works. There are many reasons why human composting may be the future of remains processing.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, human composting is a new and environmentally friendly way to dispose of a deceased body. It’s a process that turns the remains of a human body into nutrient-rich soil within thirty days. This allows the recomposed soil to provide nutrients for plant life and help sequester carbon.
Human Composting Reduces Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with an even higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide. The United States emits over 20 percent of its methane from landfills. Increasing the use of composting organic materials is an effective way to reduce these carbon dioxide emissions. Composting reduces greenhouse gas emissions by recycling organic materials and preventing methane production. This method also improves soil quality, which helps plants grow.
Aside from its greenhouse gas emissions, the current, commonly used waste disposal system is also associated with water and air pollution. Large piles of waste can exclude oxygen and create toxic air pollutants.
Biological carbon from organic material is stored in soils for long periods of time. Composting, as the future of remains processing, helps to decompose human waste and produces a biodegradable fertilizer for agricultural use. Unlike landfills, the human composting process releases little to no methane. When composting human remains, the microbes convert the body into soil.
In addition to the environmental benefits, human composting is also a way to protect the health of workers in the funeral industry. Some sources claim that it can reduce the amount of formaldehyde emitted by funeral homes.
The Future of Remains Processing Saves Space
Compost burials could one day be a legal option. This would allow family members to scatter the recomposed remains in a natural setting. The process can also provide a green alternative to traditional burial practices.
There’s no doubt that traditional burial and cremation have significant negative impacts on the environment. Typically, cremation releases 418 pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent to driving 470 miles. In addition, metals in the coffins aren’t biodegradable. Keeping your loved one’s remains in a permanent casket or vault could cost an additional thousand dollars.
Human composting, also known as “natural organic reduction,” is a growing trend and could be the future of remains processing. Using a technique similar to those used in agriculture, the process turns the remains of a human into nutrient-rich soil. The compost is then returned to the deceased’s loved ones.
Instead of having to visit a certain burial plot or cemetery, the family members can have the soil disbursed onto an area where rich, verdant life can grow.
While a number of religious groups and other organizations have voiced objections, many advocates are working to make compost burials a legally viable option. When cremation first become available and legal, there were also objections. But once people begin to see the benefits, it’s likely that human composition could be the future of remains processing. It is a new way to honor those who have passed away.
It Allows Remains to Be Scattered on Private Land
Human composting is the act of turning a person’s remains into soil. The process uses the same natural processes that garden composters use to transform food scraps into nutrient rich soil. This new alternative to burial or cremation as the future of remains processing allows for a more environmentally friendly end to life. It also allows for more options for the remaining loved ones. For example, a deceased person’s family can spread the soil in a favorite spot.
In addition to avoiding the land-use associated with burial or cremation, human composting also provides an eco-friendly and less expensive alternative. The process of human composting can save an estimated metric ton of carbon dioxide. Also, unlike burial, human composting allows for the scattering of soil on private or public lands with the consent of the owner.
Human Composting Is Becoming Legal in Many States
While composting isn’t a new idea, it has gained mainstream traction only recently. As the demand for such services grows, advocates hope that more states will follow suit and adopt this as the future of remains processing.
Some states are considering it as a possible alternative to conventional funeral practices. The human composting process has become legal in several states. Human composting is currently legal in seven states: Washington, Colorado, Vermont, New York, Delaware, Hawaii, and Oregon. In addition, legislation is being considered in other states.
Some advocates hope to see this process become more widespread. A bill in California is slated to take effect in 2027. That bill has bipartisan support and will allow consumers to choose more options.
With the growing number of people who will die in the U.S. in the next few decades, there is a need for a cheaper, green alternative to cremation. Human composting is not only an honorable way to process human remains by giving back to the earth. It is also a practical way to help save precious land acreage and to bring carbon emissions back to reasonable levels. Human composting truly may be the future of remains processing.
For more information about human composting, or to make plans for your deceased loved one, please contact Return Home today.