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New York Approves Human Decay As Alternative To Burial
New York has become the latest state in the US to allow the process of human composting, also known as “natural organic reduction,” as an alternative to traditional burial or cremation.
This environmentally friendly option involves placing the body in a closed vessel along with materials such as wood chips, alfalfa, and straw grass, allowing it to decompose over several weeks.
After about a month and a heating process to kill any contagions, the resulting soil is given to loved ones, which can be used to plant flowers, vegetables, or trees.
The process is said to be more environmentally friendly as it reduces carbon emissions, which contribute to climate change, and consumes fewer natural resources like wood and land compared to traditional burials.
Human composting is already legal in Sweden, and natural burials, in which a body is buried without a coffin or with a biodegradable coffin, are permitted in the UK.
One company, Recompose, claims that its service can save a ton of carbon compared to cremation or burial, and its $7,000 fee is reportedly comparable to other options.
However, some have raised ethical concerns about the process and questioned its cost.
Catholic bishops in New York state reportedly opposed the legislation, arguing that human bodies should not be treated like household waste.
The median cost for a funeral with a burial in the US was $7,848 in 2021, or $6,971 for a funeral with cremation, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.