Human remains can be used as compost in 2027 under new California law to fight climate change

Decomposing human remains can legally be used as compost starting in 2027 thanks to new California law aimed at tackling climate change

  • California law makes composting human remains legal
  • The process involves placing the body in a reusable container with wood chips and airing it out to allow germs and bacteria to do their job.
  • The law, signed by the governor. Gavin Newsom this week, comes into effect in 2027
  • “With climate change…it’s an alternative method of final disposal that won’t contribute to emissions in our atmosphere,” the bill’s author said.

California will begin offering the option of human composting after death through a recently enacted bill that aims to address climate change.

Human composting, also known as Natural Organic Reduction (NOR), would be an option for residents who don’t want to be buried or cremated when they die – starting in 2027.

The process involves placing the body in a reusable container with wood chips and airing it out to allow germs and bacteria to do their job.

California will begin offering the option of human composting after death thanks to a recently enacted bill

Human composting, also known as Natural Organic Reduction (NOR), would be an option for residents who do not want to be buried or cremated when they die - from 2027

Human composting, also known as Natural Organic Reduction (NOR), would be an option for residents who do not want to be buried or cremated when they die – from 2027

About a month later, the remains will completely decompose and turn into soil.

Advocates of the bill, which was signed into law by the governor. Gavin Newsom on Sunday said NOR is a more climate-friendly option.

Cremation in the United States alone emits about 360,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to National Geographic.

The bill prohibits the grouping of the remains of multiple people unless they are related.

Advocates of the bill, which was signed into law by the governor.  Gavin Newsom earlier this week said NOR is a more climate-friendly option.  Cremation in the United States alone emits about 360,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to National Geographic

Advocates of the bill, which was signed into law by the governor. Gavin Newsom earlier this week said NOR is a more climate-friendly option. Cremation in the United States alone emits about 360,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to National Geographic

Advocates of the bill, which was signed into law by the governor.  Gavin Newsom this week said NOR is a more climate friendly option

Advocates of the bill, which was signed into law by the governor. Gavin Newsom this week said NOR is a more climate friendly option

But that doesn’t make it illegal to sell the soil resulting from the process or use it to grow food for human consumption.

“AB 351 will provide an additional option for California residents that is more environmentally friendly and gives them another choice for burial,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, author of the bill. in a press release.

“With climate change and sea level rise being very real threats to our environment, this is an alternative method of final disposal that will not contribute to emissions in our atmosphere.”

“I look forward to continuing my legacy of fighting for clean air by using my shrunken leftovers to plant a tree,” she said. wroteadding that she herself could choose the method upon her death.

The state Catholic Church is against the process.

“NOR essentially uses the same process as a home garden composting system,” Catholic Conference of California executive director Kathleen Domingo said in a statement to SFGATE.

She added that the process was developed for livestock, not humans.

“These disposal methods were used to reduce the risk of disease transmission from the dead carcass,” Domingo said.

“Using these same methods for the ‘transformation’ of human remains can create an unfortunate spiritual, emotional and psychological estrangement from the deceased.”

Washington, Colorado and Oregon have all legalized the process of composting human remains. However, Colorado does not allow the sale or use of the land to grow food for human consumption.

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