Wash. considers human composting: 'People are really environmentally friendly up here'

Human compost proposal - KATU image.jpg

The Washington State legislature is considering a bill that would allow people to turn their loved one's remains in to compost.

The technology has been developed out of the Urban Death Project, a Seattle-based non-profit that is looking to advance the cause of more environmentally-friendly post-life services.

Lynn King is a funeral director and embalmer at Straub's Funeral Home in Camas, she says green burials are becoming increasingly popular for her clients.

"People are really environmentally friendly up here, so we've seen an increase in the last year," King said.

King says there's a process similar to human composting that the state already allows. It's a water-based process but King says the material that's returned to families isn't as nutrient-rich as compost. King adds customers in Southwest Washington choose cremation at rates well above the national average, but she doesn't anticipate her business will immediately shift to non-traditional burials if the legislature legalizes human composting.

"That won't reflect for many years, so when you see something new come about it doesn't feel like it's really working for a long time," King said. "Because it takes the mentality of your consumers because it's all about consumer choice."

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