Could California Legalize Human Body Compost?

Could California Legalize Human Body Compost?

( – You’ve probably heard that after you die, your body returns to the soil. If California has its way, that could be more true than you think. Did you know a composted human body creates two wheelbarrows full of soil?

Since the peak pandemic deaths in January, regulators lifted restrictions on cremations due to the vast number of people dying. Currently, only three options exist in California to deal with remains: burial or cremation by either fire or water.

Much like traditional composting, human composting begins in a composting device after being placed in straw, wood chips, and alfalfa. Naturally occurring microorganisms decompose the body into the soil. The composting device checks temperature and levels of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and moisture, while rotating a few times during the process. In approximately 30 days, the body transforms into soil that can nourish plants as topsoil.

Due to the high number of deaths, some advocate for human composting as a greener alternative to cremation. The legislature is responding — a bill is moving through the California State House that could make human composting legal. The Golden State wouldn’t be the first to allow human composting. Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have already legalized the practice, and New York could follow in 2022.

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