Human composting would be legal in RI with new bill
Only a handful of companies currently offer ‘natural organic reduction’Vermont and New York just legalized the practice, but no one is practicing it there, yetHuman composting promises a greener way to go

PROVIDENCE − When you die, do you want to be pumped full of formaldehyde, placed into a beautiful casket and entombed in a concrete vault under the ground? Turned into ashes in a crematorium? Buried in a plain wood coffin and be allowed to decay naturally?

A Rhode Island representative is asking the legislature to think about legalizing another way to go when you die: human composting.

Rep. Michelle McGaw, D-Little Compton, Portsmouth, Tiverton, who filed H 6045 to legalize the practice, said “natural organic reduction,” or human composting, has been in the news a lot lately, after Vermont, California and New York all recently legalized the practice, following the lead of Oregon, Washington and Colorado. That news coverage led to few constituents approaching her about sponsoring a bill.

“It starts a conversation,” McGaw said. “What it would look like here, if any funeral directors in Rhode Island wanted to take it on as an alternative.”

McGaw said her constituents appear to be interested for a variety of environmental reasons, including using no open space, the reduction in carbon dioxide associated with composting and the lack of chemicals used.

“In a much more general sense, people have reached out to me because they’re interested in doing things in a much more natural environment, and this seemed like a logical option,” she said.

Rhode Island Funeral Director Association President Allan Bellows if the practice is legalized, funeral directors in the state will find a way to make it happen.

What is human composting?

One of the handful of entities to offer the process, Earth Funeral in Auburn, Washington, started a year ago. The process for them takes about 30 days, leaving behind a cubic yard of rich soil and some bones that are ground into powder, just like with cremation, Spokeswoman Haley Morris sad.

A body is wrapped in a degradable shroud and put into a …


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