New York becomes the 6th state to give a green light to human composting trends now
New York has become the sixth state in the U.S. to legalize natural organic reduction, also known as human composting, despite critics disapproving of the method of burial, saying 'human bodies are not household waste.'
Recently re-elected Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, signed the legislation on Saturday. Washington state became the first state to legalize human composting in 2019, followed by Colorado and Oregon in 2021, and Vermont and California in 2022.
'I am committed to having my body composted and my family knows that,' said Howard Fischer, an investor located in New York City. 'But I would love for it to happen in New York where I live rather than shipping myself across the country.'
For the 63-year-old, this alternative, green method of burial aligns with his philosophical view on life: to live in an environmentally conscious way.
The process involves the following: the body of the deceased is placed into a reusable vessel along with plant material such as wood chips, alfalfa and straw. The organic mix creates the perfect habitat for naturally occurring microbes to do their work, quickly and efficiently breaking down the body in about a month's time.
New York is now the sixth state in the U.S. to legalize natural organic reduction, also known as human composting. Pictured: The first stage of human composting at the Recompose center in Seattle, Washington. It involves having a body laid on a bed of straw, alfalfa and wood chips before being moved into the unit (the hexagonal shape)
New York Governor Kathy Hochul legalized a bill approving the new burial method on Saturday
Straw and wood chips (pictured) are used in the human composting process, creating the perfect habitat for naturally occurring microbes to break down the humany body in about a month's time
General view of an array of composting vessels at Recompose in Seattle -- a green funeral home specializing in human composting
Two people look at a shrouded mannequin inside a vessel, where bodies are usually lied in for a month while they decompose before turning into mulch
The end result is a heaping cubic yard of nutrient-dense soil amendment, the equivalent of about 36 bags of soil, that can be used to plant trees or enrich conservation land, forests, or gardens.
For urban areas such as New York City where land is limited, it can be seen as a pretty attractive burial alternative.
'It's comforting to think of my body serving nature, flowers and trees rather than being in a box six feet underground or burned,' 65-year-old Bernard O'Brien, who lives in Brooklyn Heights and works with New York City's Independent Budget Office, previously told DailyMail.com.
'I was raised a Christian and... if my body is distributed