The green goodbye

A local non-profit in Seattle wants to compost dead people.

The idea comes from Katrina Space of the Urban Death Project, according to Reuters.

“The idea is to fold the dead back into the city,” she said. “The options we currently have for our bodies are lacking, both from an environmental standpoint, but also, and perhaps more importantly, from a meaning standpoint.”

What comes out of the process, she says, is “special and sacred,” it’s just not human.

The Urban Death Project’s plans call for a three-storey-high polished concrete composting structure called “the core,” which would be surrounded by contemplative spaces for visitors.

Bodies would be refrigerated on site for up to 10 days. No embalming would be necessary, since decomposition is the goal.

After a ceremony — religious or not — friends and family would help insert the body into the core. Over several weeks a body would turn into about one cubic yard of compost, enough to plant a tree or a patch of flowers.

The compost could be taken by the family or left for use or donation by the Urban Death Project.

“In this system, we transform from being human to being something else,” Spade said. “And at the end, what’s coming out, the material that we use — it’s special and it’s sacred, but it’s not human.”

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