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Washington state could be first to legalize human composting

Posted at 1:48 PM, Dec 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-29 14:48:15-05

There's a new, eco-friendly way to lay loved ones to rest and Washington may be the first state to allow it in the U.S.

Seattle designer Katrina Spade is the founder of the new process called "Recomposition," according to NBC News.

Recomposition is the returning of the human body to the earth after death. This is done by placing bodies in a vessel with organic materials such as wood chips, alfalfa and straw to hasten their decomposition into a nutrient-rich soil that can then be returned to their families. Families can use the soil to grow new plants in remembrance of their loved ones. The recomposition process takes approximately one month.

The process is more environmentally-friendly than burial which add chemicals to the earth, and cremation, which releases earth-warming greenhouse gases.

"People from all over the state who wrote to me are very excited about the prospect of becoming a tree or having a different alternative for themselves," said Democratic State Sen. Jamie Pedersen.

Pederson is sponsoring a Washington bill to expand the options for disposing of human remains.

If the bill passes, it will take effect on May 1, 2020.