We all have to go somewhere when we die whether that is a burial or a cremation, but now there will be a third option and that is for our bodies to be made into compost.
In April 2019 Washington became the first place in the world to legalize the composting of human remains.
The new legislation will make it possible for companies like Recompose, to open its doors and enable people to take an alternative route for their loved one, or if you like to plan ahead, for you to ensure your family knows your wishes before you pass.
The first one will open its doors in Spring 2021 in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood.
The facilities plans were drawn up by Olson Kundig Architects in collaboration with Katrina Spade, founder and CEO of Recompose, and it looks nothing like a traditional funeral home.
The facility is light and airy with an abundance of greenery. The 18,500 square foot facility has at present 75 hexagonal shaped vessels, where bodies will be stored for decomposition. The vessels are stacked in such a way that it gives a beehive look and something not too dissimilar to a bit on the sci-fi look, to be honest. There is also a gathering space where the final goodbye ceremonies will take place just as you would with current funerals.
The process for composting is simple and extremely fast compared to traditional burials and is far better for the environment, an environment that is already struggling to sustain this planet and we are fast running out of places for burials if the truth is acknowledged.
Recompose’s patent-pending method involves placing bodies in one of the moisture- and temperature-controlled vessels filled with wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. In just 30 days of microbial activity, the body breaks down into soil.
Recompose’s human composting consumes just one-eighth of the energy required for cremation and generates about a cubic yard of soil from the remains.
You have the choice to either take the soil home to use in your own gardens or you can allow Recompose to use with the reforestation of land in southern Washington.
Let’s hope this idea catches on elsewhere in the world enabling us to give back to the planet what we have used in our lifetime.