In these times, everything aims to be ecological. Bags, travel, food … almost everything. Why not, too, an ecological funeral? The "human composting" for ecological funerals is getting closer. An American company that claims to be ready to offer the service commercially starting next December. Yes: when we die we can become organic fertilizer.
The company is called Recompose. He recently completed a pilot study with the bodies of several volunteers. He says that the process of transforming human remains into organic fertilizer can be completed safely in 30 days. The process saves more than a ton of carbon, compared to cremations or traditional burials.
Compose, not decompose
The founder of Recompose, Katrina Spade, is optimistic. «To date about 15,000 people have subscribed to our newsletter. And the legislation to allow this in the state of Washington received bipartisan support. That allowed him to be approved at first, ”he said. "The project has advanced so quickly due to the urgency of climate change and the awareness that we must correct it."
Spade said that the idea came to him 13 years ago, when he began to reflect on his own mortality. At that time I was only 30 years old.
«When I die, to this planet, which has protected and supported me all my life, shouldn't I give back what I have left? It is logical and also beautiful, ”he said of the project, whereby, when we die we can become an organic fertilizer.
Spade distinguishes between "decomposition" and "recomposition". The first occurs when a body has not been buried. The recomposition describes a process of integration with the earth.
“For many people, this alternative fits the way they try to lead their lives. They want to choose a death care plan according to the way they live, ”he explained.
I want to be a subscription, how does it work?
The body is placed in a closed container containing wood chips, alfalfa and straw. It is slowly rotated to allow the microbes to break it down evenly. Thirty days later, the remains are available for relatives to spread among the roots of trees or plants.
It is a simple process. But it took four years of scientific research to perfect the technique. Professor Lynne Carpenter Boggs, a soil expert, was commissioned.
Livestock composting is a well established practice in the state of Washington. The task of Professor Carpenter Boggs was to adapt it to human subjects and ensure that the remains were safe for the environment.
For this he conducted pilot studies with six volunteers. They gave their consent to the investigation before his death. It had an emotional impact on the team.
«We were constantly interested in the state of others. My physiology felt different. I didn't sleep well for some nights. It was a response of anguish. During his study, Carpenter Boggs discovered that recomposing bodies can reach temperatures of up to 55 ° C.
"We are sure that the vast majority of disease-causing organisms and pharmaceutical products are destroyed due to the high temperatures we reach," he said.
Recompose will begin operations later this year and anyone can participate, although the process is only legal in the state of Washington.