Good for the Earth
A Natural Process
Natural Organic Reduction – Human Composting
Natural Organic Reduction is a more natural approach to the disposition of one’s body after death. This process returns the body’s nutrients to the soil with only a tiny fraction of the environmental footprint from more traditional burial or cremation practices. It is the way things used to be done before modern burial practices.
This process recognizes our connection with the planet and affirms our being a part of the ecosystem of life. Such a natural approach provides a way to give back to the earth and allows the person passing to feel good about contributing to the continuance of life. They are returning from whence they came.
The processes called Natural Organic Reduction (NOR) is the return of the body’s nutrients back to the each by natural composting. Since optimal conditions are maintained, the process takes only a couple months to complete.
The result is about 4 cu ft of rich soil that in visually and chemically indistinguishable from any other soil.
At this time, the process is currently available in only 3 states (Oregon, Washington, and Colorado).
In California, the process will be legal as of January 2027. Until then the body will need to be transported to their location.
Even though not available in California currently, we can easily transport your departed loved one to Washington State for this process of Natural Organic Reduction.
How the Naural Organic Reduction Works
Laying In Process
The first part of the process is what we call “Laying in”. It is the service, either in person or virtual, when the final goodbyes are said and the loved one is placed in their container. Items such as flowers may be added as well as. We place a bed of organic material under the body – straw, alfalfa and sawdust etc. The body is then placed in the vessel and then the remainder of the vessel is filled with more organic material.
The vessel is closed, and the process of the natural decomposition begins using bacterial that is already present in our bodies. Temperature, humidity and oxygen levels are carefully monitored to create optimal conditions for the process. After about 30 days the process is complete, and the body has been transformed into rich soil.
The resulting soil must now rest for about 30 days to complete the process. At this point the soil is ready to be return to the family or placed in our Woodlands facility
BENEFITS – NATURAL ORGANIC REDUCTION
For example, about 500 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2) release from an average cremation. This comes both from release of the carbon in the body as well as the carbon from the burning of fuel at the crematory.
The NOR method release only about 10% of that and much of the carbon that is release is sequestered in the soil.
The whole process just seems gentler and more natural. From the the ceremony of preparing and laying a person in the contain to the decomposition process itself.
We are facing and existential threat by the myriad of pollutants we dump into the earth and atmosphere. The temperate of the planet, (both land and ocean) is raising rapidly as CO2 levels increase. Complete ecosystems are being thrown out of balance. There have been 5 mass extension events in the earth’s history, please let us each do what we can to prevent another. Let us cherish life on our pale blue dot.