As people continue to search for new ways to reduce their environmental impact, the death care industry is also taking note. A new bill in Oregon is determining whether or not human compositing can be legalized as an alternative to cremation, water cremation or traditional burial. What should your business know about this practice?
What Is Human Composting?
Human composting is also known as national organic reduction (NOR), and it is a relatively new concept in the death care industry. Like composting fruit or vegetables, human composting is allowing remains to naturally decompose into soil so that the nutrient-rich soil can be reused in other capacities. The concept was tested by Washington State University to determine how successful it would be and what the process would look like. The process currently involves placing the human remains inside of a large cylindrical vessel. In addition to the body, wood chips or bacteria can be added to initiate the decomposition process. Next, the vessel is placed into a hot environment so that it breaks down over a period of weeks instead of months.
The Human Composting Bill
The bill, also known as House Bill 2574, will allow bodies to be disposed of in different ways than in the past, and one of the options being added is human composting. The bill will also change some of the rules surrounding water cremation and the way that funeral homes and the death care industry can handle bodies. Many people were in favor of the bill due to their desire to be composted and their interest in a more environmentally friendly option.
The Future of Human Composting
The bill, if passed, would change the law starting July 1, 2022. This would make Oregon the second state in the country to allow for it after Washington state legalized it in 2020. As states begin to enact it, you can anticipate your clients to become more interested in it. It’s important to encourage them to contact their lawmakers, as many people are unaware that human composting is currently not an option and that it will need to be legalized before they can take part.
Financial Planning for Every Death Care Services Industry Business from MKS&H
MKS&H provides tax and accounting services to businesses of every size and in every industry, including the death care industry. Our team can help your business gain confidence in your important accounting reports and make better, more educated financial decisions. Contact us today for a consultation.