COLORADO SPRINGS – As the saying goes – two things are certain in life: death and taxes. Colorado lawmakers are now considering another option for people to honor the deaths of loved ones: composting.
The bill was tabled in 2020, but with the pandemic it didn’t make it. In 2021, the legislators will take another look at the bill. There would be an alternative to burial and cremation.
“One thing we don’t think about is how our bodies can naturally become part of the earth,” said Lauren Carroll, undertaker and manager of the Return to Nature funeral home in Colorado Springs.
Carroll, who runs a green funeral home in the sources, says it is a service they would offer with the business.
“As a green funeral home, we want to promote everything natural,” said Carroll. “I think having land to have the machines for and then actually be able to use the compost would be really ideal.”
It’s something she’s seen interested in. Carroll testified in the capital to support the 2020 bill.
“Every time it’s on the news, someone calls us and says I want to be composted. Do you guys do that?” Said Carroll.
Currently, environmental and environmentally friendly efforts are a high priority for Return to Nature Funeral Home. The home offers natural, no-embalming burials using pine or wicker caskets and even shrouds, which Carroll found to be the most popular.
Carroll says the composting options would allow people to plant trees with loved ones, along with other options. “You are literally becoming part of the earth again,” said Carroll.
In Natural Organic Reduction (NOR), bodies are placed in vessels to turn them into soil that can then be returned to families. Right now, Washington state is the only place in the country that has a similar law on the books.
“Most people like the idea of becoming a tree,” said Carroll. Currently, the funeral home is using a family nonprofit to plant a tree in honor of loved ones who have passed away. “To actually become a tree for your loved one to give some type of nutrient, organic composting is the most efficient way to do it.”
The bipartisan bill is sponsored by Senator Robert Rodriguez (D-Denver), Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) and Rep. Brianna Titone (D-Arvada). So far, the bill has been unanimously supported. To see the full text of the bill, click here: Human Remains Natural Reduction Soil.
If the law is passed, crimes against human remains turned to earth will also be added, including performing natural reduction without permission and selling the soil.