Denver funeral home interested in the service.
A bill may make its way to Governor Polis' desk soon that would offer an alternative to the handling of human remains.
The bill, which paves the way to allow natural organic reduction of human bodies after passing, has made its way once again to Colorado's Senate for consideration. The bill, first introduced by State Representative Brianna Titone and State Senator Robert Rodriguez, was actually expected to be passed last year but was postponed due to COVID-19.
Natural organic reduction, or human composting, is a natural process that decomposes a body in about 30 days. Washington has already passed similar legislation, and several facilities have been licensed to carry out the procedure.
The process takes place in a pod-like vessel filled with a variety of materials like straw, alfalfa, and wood chips, as well as an added mix of bacteria and fungi to speed up the composting process.
Once the process is over, in around 30 days, the resulting soil can be returned to the family and used in a variety of ways, from planting trees to kept in an urn, for example.
Human composting is considered more eco-friendly than other practices, limiting the use of caskets and chemicals, limiting space taken up by burial grounds, and providing nutrient-rich soil that can benefit nature.
"By converting human remains into soil, we minimize waste, avoid polluting groundwater with embalming fluid, and prevent the emissions of CO2 from cremation and from the manufacturing of caskets, headstones, and grave liners," says Seattle-based Recompose, which has been leading the way in natural organic reduction in Washington.
Feldman Mortuary in Denver is one local funeral home that has expressed interest in the process. Many of its current customers opt for a natural burial that doesn't include embalming or caskets (or allows for biodegradable caskets), and it would like to offer human composting as a service. Rep. Titone and Sen. Rodriguez announced their plan to introduce the legislation legalizing human composting at a news conference at Feldman Mortuary in 2019.
“Aside from birth, death is literally the only experience that every single one of us will have,” said Jamie Sarche the director of pre-planning in an interview with CPR.org. “We really ought to be talking about it and anything that we refuse to discuss just has way too much power."
The bill is expected to make it to the governor's desk for consideration in March.
What do you think about this burial alternative? Would you choose this method? Let us know in the comments.