Last week Oregon became the third state to allow human composting when Governor Kate Brown signed a bill allowing for the “natural organic reduction” of bodies into soil. Washington was the first state to allow human composting and in both states, the site where the decomposition happens must be licensed. A green burial, like composting, is not just environmentally friendly but it can be a lot less expensive than a traditional burial. A burial in Herland Forest in Washington costs approximately $3,000, equal the cost of a casket alone. The process is pretty straightforward. A body is placed into a cylinder-shaped, wooden cradle, layered in different kinds of organic material and rotated. It’s monitored to make sure the temperature is kept between 130-155 degrees. At the end of the process, loved ones can take any of the compost or donate it to the forest.
Sign me up! (But not for another 4-5 decades, please)
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