Rest in … compost? These ‘green funerals’ offer an eco-friendly afterlife.
Traditional burial and cremation pollute the ground and emit carbon dioxide. People are looking for new options.
You may have seen the headlines: Earlier this year, New York State became the sixth in the nation to legalize something called human composting. In 2022, Archbishop Desmond Tutu chose to be cremated not by flame, but by water, in a process called alkaline hydrolysis. In 2019, actor Luke Perry was buried in a “mushroom suit” made of cotton and seeded with mushroom spores. All were part of a push to make the afterlife more eco-friendly.
Death care has remained largely unchanged in the United States ever since embalming and burial became the de facto method as far back as the Civil War, says Caitlin Doughty, mortician and founder of death care advocacy