A funeral home was buried Sunday to rest the first human remains in Colorado that were legally composted, less than a year after the process was legalized as a greener alternative to traditional cremation and burial.
This weekend’s ceremony was scheduled to comfort the same person who was reported to be the first person in the state to use the process of turning human bodies into soil, known as “natural reduction,” according to The Natural Funeral, a Colorado-based funeral service provider. .
The soil was spread by dozens of people in the new center Colorado Burial Preserve, about 40 miles south of Colorado Springs. Before Sunday’s ceremony, unembalmed remains were often buried in hand-dug graves in a natural meadow area.
About six months ago, the remains of the state’s first person to opt for natural reduction were placed in an air-filtered room with wood chips, alfalfa, straw, and “lots of microbial organisms.” This started the natural six-month digestion and transformation process, according to Seth Vidal, managing partner at The Natural Funeral.
One body makes what equals soil in the bed of a pickup truck, NBC News affiliate KUSA in Denver mentioned.
In May 2021, Governor Jared Polis signed a bill to legalize Natural reduction, which is advocated in the state as a more environmentally friendly way to die.
The Law According to KUSA, “It is prohibited to incorporate soil in which several people are present without their permission, to use the soil to grow food for human consumption or to sell it.”
The Natural Funeral said its process “does not contain appreciable carbon emissions or release toxic fumes unlike cremation in flames” and does not “capture any property like traditional burial.”
“We see body composting as the fast track for a body to get into the life cycle,” they wrote.
Vidal said most of the interest in the process so far has come from the Denver and Boulder metro areas, but three of the 15 remains buried in their facilities have exited the state, and the vast majority have not legalized the process.
Washington was the first state to legalize natural shorthand.
The first Colorado family to use legal composting in the state chose to have the remains of their loved ones donated to compost at a burial preserve. Vidal said Sunday’s ceremony was at the vernal equinox — half a year after the remains were first placed in the room at the autumnal equinox.
Natural Funeral has since taken another fifteen remnants for natural reduction and expanded its capacity to 48 decomposition vessels.
“We expect a lot of growth,” Vidal said.
At a cost of $7,900, the natural reduction is more expensive than a typical Denver cremation, which ranges from $3,000 to $5,000, KUSA reports.
“To differentiate this service from something like cremation, which is an instant service — the whole process only takes a few hours — whereas with compost we have a biologically managed process of four to six months, so I don’t expect that natural reduction will equal the price of cremation,” Vidal said. flame.We hope the price will be a little more competitive.