New York makes it legal for the human body to be compost for the earth

New York makes it legal for the human body to be compost for the earth

Those who accept the challenge, God willing, will no longer need to go to the cemetery to put flowers for the deceased in the family, or treasure their ashes at home. Instead, they will have the opportunity to go tree hugging.

In addition to relaxing, this practice involves a direct connection with loved ones in the afterlife or as designated.

“Cremation uses fossil fuels and burial requires a lot of land and has a carbon footprint,” said Katrina Spade, founder of a Seattle, Washington, company that offers a complete “green funeral” service.

“For many people, becoming land used to feed a garden or grow a tree is quite a shock,” he added in a statement.

This is how human compost is explained, a circumstance that Joan Manuel Serrat already anticipated, no less than in the early seventies, on the subject Mediterranean . In this hymn he arranged how his funeral should be on the side of a mountain. “…I will give green to the pines / And yellow to the genista”.

The state Catholic conference doesn’t like the idea: “an irreverent treatment of our earthly remains”

Half a century later, the state of New York gave the go-ahead, in force since January 1, to the legislation that allows to accelerate and convert the decomposition of the human body into fertilizer.

As in the district of Queens, in the Big Apple, there is the largest organic matter composting program in the United States, according to its mayor, Eric Adams, the most ambitious plan is also the one aimed at achieving that instead of the biblical “dust you are and to dust you will return”, the result of the corpse is fertilizer that contributes to plant life. It is another way to reincarnate.

The empire state is not the first on the list. He ranks sixth, behind pioneer Washington, in 2019, followed by Colorado and Oregon (2021) and Vermont and California (2022). However, neither has the resonance capacity that New York enjoys, considered the global capital that usually sets the tone for new trends.

The process consists of placing the body of the lich in a reusable container along with material such as wood, alfalfa, and straw. This organic mix, from official documentation, creates the habitat for the microbes to do their job, breaking down the body quickly and efficiently in about a month. The end result is a few cubic yards (one equals 0.71 cubic meters) of nutrient-dense fertilizer that can be used to plant trees or enrich land, forests, or gardens.

In dense urban areas like New York, where space is limited, Gov. Kathy Hochul said this method can be seen as an attractive burial alternative.

“I am committed to my body being composted and my family is aware,” Howard Fischer told the AP agency. This 63-year-old investor and resident north of the city, stated that whatever the final destination of his payment that his survivors choose will be fine with him. The alternative method of green burial it fits with his philosophy, which is to live in an environmentally conscious way.

Although it is already legal, not everyone shares Fischer’s point of view. When asking a neighbor of a certain age on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, disbelief crossed his face. “Is this a joke?” he said.

When he certified that the governor had signed the law, he replied: “Let everyone do what they want, I will be cremated.” There was no way to reason the difference between being fertilizer or ashes, not even in the case that they were scattered in the sea or on a mountain.

“A composting process that is appropriate for returning substance to plants is not necessarily appropriate for the human body,” stressed Dennis Poust, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference. He qualified that “human bodies are not household waste and we do not believe that the system meets the standards of reverent treatment of our earthly remains.”

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