Washington became the first state to legalize human composting on Tuesday as Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill allowing the “natural organic” method of burying human remains in the dirt.
The composting process mixes a human body with wood chips and straw, ultimately turning the deceased person into two wheelbarrows full of dirt in a matter of weeks.
“It gives meaning and use to what happens to our bodies after death,” said Nora Menkin, executive director of the Seattle-based People’s Memorial Association, which helps people plan for funerals.
The practice is cited as more environmentally friendly than cremation or burials — which supporters claim pollutes the ground with chemicals and creates cumbersome coffins that take up space underground.