Members of our Community Editorial Board, a group of community residents passionate about and passionate about local issues, answer the following question: Those who would turn their bodies into compost soil after death are excited about a Colorado Senate bill, that looks promising. Your attitude?

With the option of human composting now on the Colorado Legislative Docket, the existential question “Why am I here?” can at least partially be answered with “to ultimately help with the cultivation of vegetables”.

In search of information on the toxicity of traditional burial methods, I googled “Embalming Fluids” to find out what it is made of. A number of disturbing options emerged, including “What is embalming fluid addiction?” Which I quickly passed over with a slight shiver. I found out that embalming fluid is made up of formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol, and other solvents. These chemicals actually prevent any kind of biodegradation or degradation. Traditional burials also use valuable land that could be better used. That sounds like the worst option.

Bodies can be used positively through composting. With the onslaught of Baby Boomer deaths looming, there could be enough compost to regrow the more than 500,000 acres of forest after the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires in 2020.

The Catholic Church has refused composting. But be brave, they only recently approved cremation after opposing it for decades.

My parents were both cremated. One day after my mother died and my father (rather his ashes) had spent several years in the garage, my siblings and I drove to the lake where they had spent more than 50 summers in their beloved cabin. We had talked for a long time about that day. Our idea was to stand by the lake, make some solemn statements and then release them into the universe by throwing their ashes into the lake. When we got to the lake, the four of us stood in a small circle and each said a few words about our parents. We opened the urns and when we started throwing the ashes the wind changed and blew towards us. To tell an old Henny Youngman joke, take the cremation – please! I will compost every day.

Fern O’Brien, [email protected]

Aprés ski on a sunny Friday, I got stranded at the Vision Quest brewery working on my often-bought, rarely-read novel when I invited myself for a chat. “Participate”, “to learn humpbacks, one should repeat Eldora’s Alpenhorn with the 2nd movement of Mendelssohn’s 3rd Symphony” and “Gratitude for shorter ski seasons is the result of a long life, I was accused of being an” optimist “. ” .

On Tuesday, waking up early to the positives of climate change, I went back to Eldora to feel alive while pondering this week’s fatalistic question. Driving past the ghost towns of Boulder Canyon was a sick reminder that most of what we know about civilizations is embodied, enveloped, or all that is left of their way of life. I promise you, death defines a culture.

I’m not going to lie, a consequence of multiculturalism is intrigue at the burial. To avoid the topic, I’ll treat the remnants of the audience well and take a look behind the scenes of the CEB by answering our editor’s question to me.

“Does human compost have a frequency?”

I’m a speculator, not an acoustician, but behind the Vermont boathouse there is a box tree that I fertilized posthumously and my great-grandson is cutting it off to make a clarinet. Of course, I’d have to have kids first who need a presumed blushing bride reached by some mechanism to keep my unpopular opinions to myself, but let’s say this is my third time running for city council …

Charming as the idea is, I’d rather watch this cute angel play the viola and live to tell the story, but in case my destiny is to manifest a box when I am on to the big show Heaven go, I say: my compost has a frequency of A 440 Hz precisely because I’m the type of grandpa who follows you every day when you are out of tune!

Shawn Coleman, [email protected]

“Green funerals”, “green burials”, “green cemeteries” or “green practices”, There are many shades of green in this $ 15 billion industry each year.

The Green Burial Council defines this process as “means of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact, helping to conserve natural resources, reduce carbon emissions, protect workers’ health, and restore and / or preserve habitat”.

According to the Berkeley Planning Journal, conventional burials in the United States use 30 million board feet of hardwood, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze, 104,272 tons of steel, and 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete each year. The amount of coffin wood alone is equivalent to about 4 million acres of forest and could build about 4.5 million houses.

An estimated 1 million acres are used for memorial parks in the United States. These parks require a ton of water, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides to maintain vibrant greenery. The environmental impact of these chemicals on our water supplies and wildlife alone, combined with the estimated 20 million liters of embalming fluid, equates to an avoidable man-made disaster.

Cremations – only marginally better than traditional burials – make up just over half of burials in the U.S., causing an estimated 360,000 tons of CO2 emissions, as well as the evaporation of other chemicals like mercury, which is used in amalgam fillings and dioxins, and furans in ours Air. The remaining ash is not compostable and has a very high pH, ​​which makes it toxic to most plants.

Equally important, the average burial in America costs about $ 10,000. Many poor people no longer have funerals and funerals for their loved ones. An unjust burden on everyone.

If these facts aren’t enough to support alternative natural burials, I’m not sure what it would be.

Masyn Moyer, [email protected]

Katrina Spade, a Washington State entrepreneur, saw an opportunity. She found that handling human bodies after death, cremation, or burial was not environmentally friendly. After learning that farmers had composted animals on their farms for years, she thought that the same could be done to humans. Ten years later, she was working on her project and had a workable method that you could turn into a yard of compost after your death.

Since “free” corporation is what it is in the United States today, Spade had to get Washington State to bless and approve the method. The state did, and now you can compost from $ 5,500 after you die in Washington. You’d have to ask Spade how much of that cost was due to meeting legal requirements. As a man I worked for once said when asked what he would like to do with regulations in his industry, he replied, “Make them more complicated and more expensive.” Cha-ching.

Most likely, Governor Polis will soon have a bill on his desk that will allow people to be composted here in the state. They even have a lovely name for the process, natural organic reduction. It is far better to think of someone who is naturally reduced in nature than to think of them mixed in with wood chips, alfalfa, and straw, and then breakfast, lunch, and dinner become for a few microbes. The only question that may go unanswered is whether Boulder County will admit in advance that its new industrial-scale composting facility (you didn’t really think the county would abandon this project, did you?) Have a dedicated area for composting of residents will have. Chances are they’ll leave out this nugget of information in the next round of lectures. I’m sorry we need to find out how much we need a new dump within our district boundaries.

Chuck Wibby, [email protected]