Katrina Spade has spent years conducting research and getting legislation to begin running Recompose – the first funeral home in the US to turn bodies into compost.
When most people think of about their remains they usually expect to be put in a coffin or to become ashes. However, Recompose is allowing people to reduce pollution by becoming compost. The Washington-based company is offering ‘natural organic reduction’ and it appears to be appealing to those who want to reduce waste.
Recompose is based out of a warehouse, and uses an interesting method to repurpose bodies.
The bodies are placed in white hexagon formations alongside wood chips, straw, and alfalfa. These materials allow for the perfect conditions for decomposition. The hexagons will be turned a few times over the course of the next month to ensure that the compost begins to form in every area. After this, the soil is dried out for between two weeks and a month before it is returned to the families of the deceased. Alternatively, the compost can be donated to an ecological cause.
Recompose claims that this process saves 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions. While some may prefer more traditional burials, it seems that there is a market for this kind of decay.
Philip Olson, a technology ethicist and professor at Virginia Tech, told Motherboard that they can see why this decomposition would be appealing. Olson attributed growing environmental concerns as well as fears of transmitting a virus in a deadly pandemic as part of the reason why someone would choose this option over traditional methods.
The process will cost $5,500 per person with possible additional charges for transportation, and it seems that the price is fitting as the process is increasing in popularity.
Anna Swenson, customer and communications manager for Recompose said:
It seems, pretty easily fill 10 vessels a month and we don’t want to turn people away.
The popularity of the method is also evident in looming competition. A company called Herland Forest has one vessel, and another called Return Home will reportedly open a large facility in Washington in April.
Despite the growing market, founder Katrina Spade acknowledged a need for more companies in the same field:
If we’re trying to make an impact on climate change, which we are, it’s going to take more than just Recompose.
A very different way to push up the daisies.
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Topics: Life, Environment, Funeral, Now