Finding greener ways to bury our dead is nothing new. In both Judaism and Islam, people are buried in the most simple and green manner.
Along with these “basic” burial rites, a variety of eco-funerals are now available to let your death be ever-green. Perhaps, the most novel, and really earth friendly way of disposing of human remains is being proposed by an organization called the Urban Death Project, in which a person’s body will be turned into natural compost to be used for fertilizing gardens and food crops.
Headed by Seattle based Katrina Spade, who also heads an environmental NGO, the Echo Green Organization, the Urban Death Project involves “interning” human remains into a large three story “core”, within which bodies and high-carbon materials are placed.
Over the span of a few months, with the help of aerobic decomposition and microbial activity, the bodies decompose fully, leaving a rich compost that can be used to fertilize crops and gardens.
While many people may object to this method of burial, from a natural and green standpoint, the actual burial process is not that much different than the coffin-less burials practiced by the Muslim and Jewish religious groups.
The burial and composting facility will have a section where a dignified religious funeral can take place, including interning the shroud wrapped body into a bed filled with wood shavings and other organic material.
This entire process excludes the need for using poisonous embalming fluids and non environmental friendly caskets.
The Urban Death Project is being presented as a non-profit organization in which people will be asked to give donations towards a more ecological manner in which to bury human remains.
Regarding the creation of compost materials, human and animal waste products from raw sewage and farms is already being practised to create compost material.
An example of turning human “crap” into valuable compost is currently being done outside of Dubai. Taking this in mind, if human excrement can be turned into compost material, why not human remains themselves?
It’s simply taking the natural “composting process” one step further by finding a more green solution to the disposal of our mortal remains after death.