A new way to say goodbye: How some US-based companies are turning deceased humans into compost

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Funerals are never an easy subject to deal with, especially when you’re dealing with the death of a loved one. A couple of funeral homes in the United States of America though have come up with a whole new way of dealing with deceased humans – by turning their bodies into compost.

A new way to say goodbye_ How some US-based companies are turning deceased humans in to compost

NOR or natural organic reduction is the newest method that certain American families are trying to lay the bodies of their loved ones to rest. | Image Credit: Unsplash

One aspect of death that is often not talked about as much as it should, is the logistics of laying to rest the body of a deceased human. In India, cremations and burials can become expensive. However, as populated our country might be, we don’t have to face the issue of a lack of space to cremate bodies, or to bury them, at least under normal circumstances.

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In most European countries and in certain states in the United States of America, a plot of land in a cemetery can be very expensive. Then there is the problem of availability as well – many cities in Europe have simply run out of space to bury their dead. That is why even in traditionally Christian communities across Europe and the US, where the custom has been to bury the deceased, families are choosing to have their loved ones cremated, and their ashes, stored in urns.

There is also the sentimentality that is often associated with death. This same sentimentality has led to businesses which turn the ashes of a recently deceased human, into zirconia diamonds.

A new way to say goodbye: How some US-based companies are turning deceased humans in to compost

Cubic Zirconia Diamond is a variety of lab-made diamonds that are made using the ashes of humans. People choose to get them made for sentimental reasons. | Image Credit: Pexels

A new concept is on the rise in certain areas of the United States, wherein families of a recently deceased person are sending the body to be turned into compost. This compost is often used by the family in their own garden, or to be used in organic farming.

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As bizarre as this sounds, there is a very scientific process behind this. Traditional burials in the US, involve literal tons of steel, concrete, and toxic chemicals. Plus, the process of cremating a body emits several hundred pounds of carbon into the atmosphere. This is where the concept of NOR or natural organic reduction.

What happens is this, is that a family will send the body of their loved ones, to a company or a funeral home that provides this service. The body then will be layered into a composting box, along with some real soil, mulch and agents that would hasten the decomposing process. After about two months, once the body has completely decomposed, the new “soil” will be shipped to the family. The family can then choose to either use it in their own backyards or gardens or, donate it to one of the several charities that promote organic farming.

A new way to say goodbye_ How some US-based companies are turning deceased humans in to compost (1)

Katrina Spade, founder of Recompose, the first human composting service provider in the US, with a human body about to be sealed in the composting chamber. | Image Credit: Recompose

During the two months that it takes for the body to decompose, the family members can visit the decomposing facility and pay their respects to the deceased, as and when they get ready – there is no urgency of having to come to terms to the death of a loved one.

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