Turning Bodies into Compost: How Recompose Redefines Funeral Traditions

Posted on: Feb 15, 2021 Publish By: funerallink
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This planet is the only one we have and unfortunately, it’s facing a detrimental issue of damage and degradation. Faced with this concern and the increasing problems of environmental imbalance, many people (scientists, researchers, and others) are committing to a life of eco-friendly consciousness.

With this in mind, Recompose was born. If you raised your eyebrows wondering what this organization is and how it helps Mother Earth, read more below.

What is Recompose?

Recompose became Katrina Spade’s answer to her mind-boggling question of what will happen to her body when she dies. When she graduated last 2011 from her degree in architecture, she realized the inevitability of her death. Because of this realization, she was encouraged to look into options of how her body will leave this world. Unsatisfied of what is already available, she spent her moments from then until now for what she calls, “natural organic reduction.”

Last December, after numerous feasibility studies, fundraising efforts and legislative actions, Recompose was finally able to cater to clients and turned these bodies into compost. Recompose operates outside Seattle and is catering to 10 bodies at the moment. Spade initially planned to operate at 70-100 bodies at a time however, the pandemic put a restriction to this desire.

Understanding Recompose and Its Operations

Just like you, we’re wondering how recompose makes this process possible. One of the most interesting factors that made this possible was through recompose’s “vessels.” These vessels are shiny white stacked hexagonal tubes. When a family brings in a body, the staff handles the body and puts it inside the vessel along with straw, alfalfa, and wood chips.

Once inside the container, it is heated to an optimal temperature that mixes in carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and water for decomposition. Over an average of 30 days, microbes will break down the body mixes in with the compost materials.

The Impact of Recompose to Its Environment

Unlike other available ways of sending our beloved ones to their life after death, recompose actually saves one metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Breaking down the body into compost is a process that is nutrient-giving and life-sustaining. Recompose’s process encourages a method that is clean and useful to the environment.

In an interview with Philip Olson, a technology ethicist and professor at Virginia Tech says that recomposes process of dealing with dead bodies is “sort of an acknowledgement that urban life is the main form of life.”

Although Spade has several competitors already with sustainable means of turning bodies into compost, she admits that there is a lot of steps to take. “If we’re trying to make an impact on climate change, which we are, it’s going to take more than just recompose,” she said.

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