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One day, we could become part of the Earth

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One day, we could become part of the Earth

One day, we could become part of the Earth.

One day, we could become part of the Earth.

photo via SVG Silh under the creative commons license

One day, we could become part of the Earth.

photo via SVG Silh under the creative commons license

photo via SVG Silh under the creative commons license

One day, we could become part of the Earth.

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Washington will likely become the first U.S. state to legislate “natural organic reduction.” This environmentally friendly process essentially turns human remains into soil in a matter of weeks. This new way of “burial” could appeal to many as an alternative to cremations or standard burials.

According to USA Today, Senate Bill 5001 has already passed the legislature and now only awaits official review and support from Gov. Jay Inslee. The governor has contributed much of 2020 presidential campaign to climate change issues, so it is very likely that he will act favorably and supportively towards the bill.

“Human composting” is said to have many great benefits to the economy and environment of Washington. The alternative (human composting) takes up less space and could reduce the carbon emissions associated with cremation, which over 78 percent of those who died in Washington in 2017 underwent.

The process transforms a person’s body into one cubic yard of soil, which is equivalent to two large wheelbarrows of soil. If the bill is passed, Washington residents could keep their relatives’ soil in urns and use it to plant trees.

Bill sponsor, Senator Jamie Pederson, stated, “It is sort of astonishing that you have this completely universal human experience- we’re all going to die- an here’s an area where technology has done nothing for us” and “We have the two means of disposing of human bodies that we’ve had for thousands of years, burying and burning.”

This idea first stemmed from the idea of Katrina Spade, who based the methods on the standard disposal of livestock by farmers. Spade subsequently established a pilot company, Recompose, which decomposed six human bodies between four and seven weeks. Recompose previously told NBC News that it planned to charge $5,500 per body. This is a substantially lower cost compared to the traditional burial method at $7,360 in 2017.

Not only does this new bill sound exciting because of the reduction in the carbon footprint, but also the connection with the Earth as becoming a tree is a very big appeal towards the environmentally conscious state of Washington and its citizens.

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One day, we could become part of the Earth