California Legalizes Human Composting

California will soon become the fifth state in the country that will allow the composting of human remains as an alternative to burial or cremation.

Last weekend, California’s Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law that tasks state officials with developing regulations for the process described as natural organic reduction (NOR) in which human remains are broken down into soil.

It is expected that Californians can begin composing their loved ones by 2027.

Four states, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Vermont, already legalized human composting.

However, the law won’t permit folks to toss grandma on a compost pile and call it a day.

Instead, the remains are placed into an 8-foot steel box along with biodegradable materials like wood chips and flowers. Under this process, it takes the body about 30 to 60 days to turn into soil. Once the process is complete, the former remains can either be returned to the family or donated to conservation land.

According to the bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, composting your loved ones is an environmentally-friendly alternative to cremation since it does not require the use of fossil fuels and emits no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The National Funeral Directors Association said the cremation rate in California in 2018 was 67 percent.

In a statement following the bill’s signing, Assemblywoman Garcia boasted that this method of disposal of human remains “won’t contribute emissions” into the atmosphere and will “capture CO2 in our soil and trees.”

She claimed that those opting for composting over burial or cremation will save “the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon from entering the environment.”