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Tags: human composting | burial | california

Compost Burial Will Be New Option in California

hands holding composted dirt
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 September 2022 10:52 AM EDT

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday signed a bill that will allow an alternative burial method known as human composting beginning in 2027. 

Driving Assembly Bill 351 is Democrat Assembly member Cristina Garcia, whose previous two attempts to approve the state regulatory process for natural organic reduction failed in 2020 and 2021, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Human composting entails placing the human remains into a steel vessel and burying them in wood chips, alfalfa and other biodegradable materials, then allowing for them to naturally decompose from 30 to 45 days. Family members have the option to have the nutrient-dense soil returned to them or donated to conservation land.

Supporters say the process is more eco-friendly than burial, which uses chemicals to embalm bodies and a nonbiodegradable coffin to store them, and cremation, which produces carbon dioxide emissions. Every person choosing human composting will save the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon from entering the environment, according to companies offering the method. 

"With climate change and sea-level rise as very real threats to our environment, this is an alternative method of final disposition that won't contribute emissions into our atmosphere," Garcia said in a statement.

"This new law will provide California's 39 million residents with a meaningful funeral option that offers significant savings in carbon emissions, water, and land usage over conventional burial or cremation," added Katrina Spade, chief executive of Recompose, a Seattle company that was the first funeral home to build a human composting facility in the country. "Our end-of-life choices matter in the effort to heal this planet."

The California Catholic Conference however, opposed the bill, stating in a letter earlier this year in reaction to the legislation that the process "reduces the human body to simply a disposable commodity," according to the National Catholic Reporter's affiliate, Earth Beat. 

In the letter, Kathleen Domingo, executive director for the California Catholic Conference, said human composting was similar to methods of disposal of livestock, "not as a means of human burial." Using this method, Domingo said, "can create an unfortunate spiritual, emotional, and psychological distancing from the deceased."

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


TheWire
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday signed a bill that will allow an alternative burial method known as human composting beginning in 2027. 
human composting, burial, california
350
2022-52-20
Tuesday, 20 September 2022 10:52 AM
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