Ashes to Ashes. Dust to Dust. Or, in Washington State, You Could Now Be Compost.

By Adeel Hassan | May 22, 2019

For most Americans, there are two main choices after death: burial or cremation. But now people in Washington State have a third legal option: They can have their bodies turned into soil.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation on Wednesday allowing the practice of “aboveground decomposition,” making Washington the first state in the nation — and likely the first place in the world, legal experts said — to explicitly allow human remains to become compost…


Death is Not an Emergency

How Recompose is Redesigning the End-of-Life

by Michael Zakaras | October 19, 2018

Katrina Spade wants to transform the U.S. funeral industry, making way for many more options for those facing death and for their families. She founded Recompose in 2017 to champion a dramatically new approach that reconnects death to natural cycles of life and engages people through meaningful participation. Ashoka’s Michael Zakaras caught up with Spade to learn more …


Life After Death:

Recompose, a soil-based alternative, moves closer to reality

By Brendan Kiley | November 26, 2018

Someday, Sonia Baker hopes her body will nourish a tree. She’s already picked one out — a big, old Gravenstein apple tree at her granddaughter’s place on Beacon Hill. “That kind of tree makes the best apple pies,” Baker said. “At least my family thinks so.”

Baker, 84, lives in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood and is an enthusiastic supporter of Recompose, an emerging death-care alternative to traditional cremation and burial…

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Washington Could Become the First State to Legalize Human Composting

BY Tafline Laylin | December 29, 2018

When Americans die, most are buried or cremated. Washington could soon become the first state to allow another option: human composting.

The novel approach, known as “recomposition,” involves placing bodies in a vessel and hastening their decomposition into a nutrient-dense soil that can then be returned to families. The aim is a less expensive way of dealing with human remains that is better for the environment…

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Washington passes bill to become first state to compost human bodies

By Ben Guarino | April 26, 2019

It may soon be legal for the dead to push daisies, or any other flower, in backyard gardens across Washington state. The state legislature recently passed a bill that, if signed by the governor, allows human bodies to be composted — and used for mulch.

As the nation ages, U.S. funeral practices are changing. Rates of cremation surpassed 50 percent in 2016, overtaking burials as the most popular choice...

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Could ‘Human Composting’ Mean a Better, Greener Death?

By Hallie Golden | January 14, 2019

When people die, usually one of two things happens to their bodies: Either they are buried below ground in caskets, or they are cremated, reduced to bone fragments by intense heat. But Washington State could soon get another option—human composting. This turns the body into nutrient-rich soil naturally in about 30 days.

Last month, Washington State Senator Jamie Pedersen pre-filed a bill to legalize human composting, also known as “recomposition…”

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