Ashes to ashes, dust to dust... or compost? We're not talking about humans who compost, we're talking about humans who ARE compost. Have you heard of the latest "Earth-friendly" trend making its way through the state legislatures across the nation? It's called "human composting," the process is currently NOT legal in Texas or Arkansas, but it could be, and sooner rather than later. 

Those that know me, know I'm no tree-hugging, hand-wringing environmentalist whacko, I don't believe for one minute that the planet is in any trouble at all, we, as its occupants might be, but the planet is going to be just fine.

I am, however, a conservationist with a firm conviction that we must always strive to do better than the generation before us, and find new and better ways to keep our environment clean and usable for the next generations coming up. So let us consider this idea, "Human Compost".

Human Composting - compost - Canva
Human Composting - compost - Canva

Not Exactly New:

No, it's not exactly a new idea, truth be told, modern burial methods have only been around for a couple of hundred years. For thousands of years prior to that, most of us did in fact end up as compost, whether we wanted to be or not. The idea just seems kind of odd to plan it that way.

Is it legal anywhere?

Yes, it is. Human Composting is currently legal in six states including, Washington, Oregon, Vermont, and Colorado, and soon will be in New York state. California's new legality of human compost will go into effect in 2027. There are a bunch more states that are currently debating it in the legislatures and many more, like Texas and Arkansas, haven't even started the debate yet. But it's coming.

Composting 101 - Canva
Composting 101 - Canva

So, What Is The Process?

If you have ever used a compost barrel in your backyard then you already know where this is headed. For that process you simply toss in organic ingredients like food waste, egg shells, grass, and yard clippings, then turn the barrel every now and then to mix up the microbes and eventually it turns into rich soil that can be used in gardening and flower beds. In human composting, also known as "natural organic reduction", a body is placed in the middle of the mix, including some ingredients that will break down the human remains in 45 to 60 days depending on the company doing it, that company turns the barrel this time by the way, and poof, Uncle Billy is now plant food. Bonus, you get to decide how much of Uncle Billy you take home with you.

Human Composting - sprout - Canva
Human Composting - sprout - Canva

Are Ya Fer It, Or Agin It?

I'm neither at this point, I want to hear good arguments on both sides first. Will it be an economical alternative to burial? No idea yet. Certainly, the ecological folks are going to love this. Are their religious issues to consider? Most likely.

Check out the videos below for a better understanding of the processes and where they're coming from, and has the "where it's legal" information you may be interested in.

I personally believe that when we die our soul moves on to a different plane of existence and the vessel that once housed it will never be needed again. What we do with it after we are gone, is kind of up to you and what your family has planned and can afford. So, what do you think? Is Human Composting a viable alternative? Let us know.

This method is called Mushroom Composting:

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