There is a senate bill AB351 that is heading to congress. This legislation would allow a natural disposition of remains by natural organic reduction (NOR). Current California law limits the method of reducing human remains. NOR gently transforms human remains into soil in 4-6 weeks. The process uses large vessels to hold human remains which are combined with straw, wood chips, and other natural materials. The price for a human composting disposition is currently between $4,000 – $5,500. Natural organic reduction — the formal term for human composting — is legal only in three states: Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
Right now, in California the only allowable methods for the disposition of human remains is traditional burial, cremation, and alkaline hydrolysis. AB 351 simply gives families another option when they are choosing what to do with their loved one’s remains.
Cremation accounts for over 66% of after-death choices within California, but requires huge amounts of fossil fuels and emits CO2 into the atmosphere, polluting our air and contributing to climate change. Conventional burials with a casket leach chemicals into the ground from the treated casket wood and embalming chemicals.
For every individual that chooses NOR over conventional burial or cremation, one metric ton of carbon is saved.
As cemeteries begin to fill up and land is less available for burial plots, Californians and other states are looking for more sustainable death care practices. California AB 351 would create an additional option that is more environmentally friendly and sustainable. If every California resident chose natural reduction as their after-death option, we would save nearly 2.5 million metric tons of CO2 in just 10 years.
Please click the following link to have your voice heard in the state of California.
Please write your congress to start the process of getting NOR legalized in your state. We truly can’t afford to wait much longer.