Natural Organic Reduction
There are several alternative methods for death care. However, we believe that the most ecologically friendly and practical of these is Natural Organic Reduction, or “body composting.” With this system, the body is transformed into rich, fertile soil. This not only reduces the environmental impact caused by traditional embalming, burial, and cremation but actually helps the environment by returning life-giving nutrients back to the earth.
Natural organic reduction is also environmentally superior to cremation. Cremation produces a collective total of 700 million pounds of carbon, and it takes about 30 gallons of fuel to cremate each body. Body composting, on the other hand, only uses 1/10 of the fuel – therefore emitting only 1/10 of the CO2.
How Long Does Natural Organic Reduction Take?
It takes about 60 days for our process to complete. The first 30 days is when the body makes its transformation into soil, with an additional 30 days being added as a resting period. This gives you time to grieve at your heart’s pace, as well as to decide what to do with the resulting compost. You are welcome to the facility anytime to visit your loved one’s vessel before the soil is moved to the 30 day resting period.
Can the Soil be Safely Returned to the Earth?
The soil that results from natural organic reduction can indeed be returned to the earth. The soil from natural organic reduction is used for soil restoration projects, family memorial gardens, or even used for spreading, similar to how ashes are spread after cremation. About a cubic yard of soil/compost is produced by the average natural organic reduction process of human remains.
How Does Natural Organic Reduction Work?
Composting a human body works much the same as other mortality composting. The body, along with other organic matter like straw, alfalfa, and sawdust is placed into a vessel. The vessel is then monitored with a number of sensors throughout the 60 day process to assure the process runs smoothly.
The natural organic reduction process happens thanks to the presence of naturally occurring microbes in the body. The microbes naturally transform the body into soil using only the three organic materials listed above, alfalfa, straw, and sawdust. After the 60 day process, the soil is then given back to the family, and any additional soil the family cannot take is used to revitalize land on our greenbelt property.
Does the Process Generate a Strong Odor?
During the natural organic reduction process, you will notice our facility has no actually unpleasent odor. The odor is controlled via a very complex, custom HVAC system that moves fresh air through the vessel throughout the entire process. This system also plays a major role in making sure the vessel has enough oxygen throughout the entire process.
Is the Compost Safe?
Proper temperature control ensures that the resulting compost will be sterilized and safe. This is attained by using the correct composting methods, as described above. Typical temperatures range between 130 and 160 degrees, and if needed. In our process, no outside heat source is used to achieve these temperatures. These temperatures are achieved by the naturally occurring microbes in the body working with the organic material placed in the vessel. Because of this, the resulting humus will be as safe as any other compost.
Temperature monitoring, cylinder rotation, and other aspects are done manually to assure the natural organic reduction process runs smoothly. This guarantees the soil returned to the family is completely safe.
What About Medical Implants?
Any non-compostable material in the body, from false teeth to hip implants, is removed from the soil during the screening process. The soil is then left to rest for an additional 30 days before returning it to the family.
Is Natural Organic Reduction Affordable?
While costs can vary, it is typically much more affordable to have natural organic reduction done than it is to do a traditional funeral and burial. Our goal at Return Home is to allow everyone to have access to earth friendly alternatives to traditional death care.
Who Uses Natural Organic Reduction?
Return Home has seen people from all walks of life come to our facility. When choosing natural organic reduction, people see this as an option that’s not only good for the planet, but also good for the grieving process. Our process allows peace of mind to all individuals, no matter the social standing, no matter the political standing, no matter what race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion a person may be, natural organic reduction is the end-of-life option that allows our final act on this planet be one that gives back.
To learn more about our natural organic reduction option or to use this service, just contact us here at Return Home. We’ll be happy to explain the process in detail.