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Burial, Cremation or Composting?

Technology being ever evolving, it is now possible to compost human remains. It’s about as natural as can be in theory, because it doesn’t involve sophisticated containers and chemicals like alkaline hydrolisis, which is essentially cremation by the use of chemicals.

forest grave site marked by cross
Simple wooden cross on nature grave in the forest

Katrina SpadeCEO of alternative burial company Recompose explains that composting human remains, a process she called “re-composition,” involves moving the body to a specially designed facility and placing it inside of a vessel filled with wood chips, alfalfa and straw where, after several weeks of microbial activity, the body breaks down into soil that can then be given to family of the deceased or used by conservation groups. The process uses an eighth of the energy required for cremation and saves more than one metric ton of carbon dioxide for every individual who opts to use it.

A even less yucky alternative to chemical embalming and energy intensive cremation is green burial. How would you rather end up, as soil around your sister’s or son’s begonias or nurturing a forest somewhere?