The term human composting may sound a bit morbid, but could it be a more environmentally sound way to say goodbye to loved ones who have passed?

*** UPDATE: WGRZ reports that natural organic reduction is now legal in New York state as regulations are being drawn up. New York is now one of seven states that has legalized "green burials". *** says that New York has taken the next step in legalizing the practice some refer to as 'green" burials. All it will take is a signature from Governor Hochul and the bill will become law. If so, New York will become one of only four states that allow the practice.

But what are "green" burials (or, natural organic reduction)? 

Human composting is very much like how farmers compost livestock. CBS says that composting companies will place the deceased person in a "coffin-like vessel with straw, alfalfa and wood chips, then adding carbon and nitrogen."


Once done, the families can choose to have the soil containing the remains to be scattered or buried. Compared to traditional burials or cremation, the process is better for the environment. This can help cut down on the limited space that burials require, and uses less CO2 than cremation.

Phil Nye/TSM
Phil Nye/TSM

Bill Was first Co-Sponsored by Hudson Valley Politician

One lower Hudson Valley politician helped co-sponsor the bill. Assemblywoman Amy Paulin of Scarsdale told CBS:

We’re going to run out of land or we’re going to be using land for purposes that maybe we don’t have to..

CBS says that the New York State Association of Cemeteries supports the bill. Right now, only Washington, Colorado, and Oregon have legalized the process. Some though, such as the New York State Catholic Conference has labeled the practice "disrespectful and undignified".

How About a Viking Funeral Instead?

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LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]

Gallery Credit: Bethany Adams

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