Would you want to be composted after you die?
Mass. lawmakers want to make it an option.
By Dharma Noor, The Boston Globe, January 4, 2023
What will happen to your body when you die? In Massachusetts, you have three options: to be buried, to be burned, or to donate your body to science.
But Representative Natalie Higgins, a Democrat representing Worcester’s fourth district, has another idea. She wants to have her body turned into soil and placed outside her late great grandparents’ house —a choice she says is better for the Earth and in which she finds comfort.
“The ability to come home as soil to our land … is something that’s really appealing,” she said. “It’s a way for us to give back to this land that has given my family so much.”
Natural organic reduction —better known as human composting —is not sanctioned in Massachusetts, but it’s a concept that’s gaining traction across the United States as a more eco-friendly form of death care. New York on Saturday became the sixth state to allow the practice, and advocates hope Massachusetts will be next.
Human composting is a bit more involved than simply tossing a body into a pile of food scraps and garden waste. Instead, corpses are usually shut into containers filled with organic material like wood chips, alfalfa and straw and left to decompose over the course of about a month. The process yields about a cubic yard of rich soil amendment—the equivalent of about 36 bags of soil, or enough to fill the bed of one pickup truck —that can be used as fertilizer for forests, gardens, or conservation land. Read more >>