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Could ‘Human Composting’ Mean a Better, Greener Death?

As Washington State considers legalizing human composting, advocate Katrina Spade explains the process as a needed alternative to standard burial and cremation.
An artist's rendering of the future Recompose facility.
An artist's rendering of the future Recompose facility.MOLT Studios

Update (May 22, 2019): The Washington state legislature passed bill SB-5001 in late April 2019.

When people die, usually one of two things happens to their bodies: Either they are buried below ground in caskets, or they are cremated, reduced to bone fragments by intense heat. But Washington State could soon get another option—human composting. This turns the body into nutrient-rich soil naturally in about 30 days.