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PacSci Podcast: Life After Death

by | Aug 15, 2019

Recompose: Innovation in Death Care

Have you made plans for your death? Not your funeral or wake. Have you made plans for what you want done with your body? Right now your choices are burial in the ground or in a crypt, or cremation. But starting next year, you will have another option. A company called Recompose will soon start offering what the company calls natural, organic reduction for your body.

“Natural, organic reduction turns humans into soil,” says Katrina Spade, founder and CEO of Recompose. She says when you die, your body is placed in a vessel on a bed of alfalfa, straw and wood chips. She says to think of it as a cocoon. Then microbes and bacteria get to work doing what they do on the forest floor or in your compost bin. Over the following thirty days air is pumped in and out of the vessel to help the tiny microbes and bacteria break down your tissue and bones.

“And so by the end of that thirty day period you have something that really resembles a top soil mixture you get at the local nursery.”

What about cremation?

She says their service is a cousin of cremation, but with a much smaller carbon footprint. And what’s left can be placed anywhere that soil helps plants thrive. A garden, a forest…anywhere. If your loved ones don’t wish to take the soil, Recompose has partner organizations that will take it and add it back to nature.

It’s a fascinating concept that will likely soon become common. She said they get inquiries from all over the world.

If you wish to learn more, make plans to attend our Science in The City event Tuesday, August 20 at 7 p.m. at Pacific Science Center. If you have questions she’s the one to ask. Check the resources below for more information.

Resources:

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