On Tuesday Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains.

This allows licensed facilities to offer “natural organic reduction,” which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw into about two wheelbarrows’ worth of soil in a span of several weeks.

Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated — or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree.

This is an environmentally friend alternative to cremation. Cremating a body releases carbon dioxide into the air and conventional burial can pollute the groundwater, also burying someone in a coffin takes up land.

Composting is a natural way to return our bodies to the earth.

Composting takes place by covering the body in natural materials, like straw or wood chips, and over the course of about three to seven weeks, thanks to microbial activity, it breaks down into soil.

The process was the focus of a new study at Washington State University in which six people donated their bodies for research.

It was proved recomposition was indeed safe and effective for humans.

The average burial can cost between $8,000 and $25,000. Cremation can top $6,000. One company said they could charge $5,500 for human composting.

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On Tuesday Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains. This allows licensed facilities to offer 'natural organic reduction,' which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw into about two wheelbarrows' worth of soil in a span...