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WA Bound! I'm not excited, you're excited!!


The time has finally come!

I’ve been reading, listening, watching, contemplating, and ideating on the concept of Natural organic reduction for over a year and I am finally heading to the forefront of this modern death care movement...


I'm not excited, you're excited!


 

Here's the context...

Washington state was the first to legalize human composting 2019 thanks to the leadership of Recompose founder Katrina Spade, among others. Four years and seven states legalizing later, Washington continues to lead the way with three active providers offering this service at scale.


Over the course of the next few days, I’ll be visiting two of the facilities in operation and attending TerraCon, the first of its kind terramation (yes, yet another term for the process... I know) conference - a gathering of folks from across the globe with a shared interest in this novel approach to body disposition. Again... I’m not excited, you’re excited!

 

Quick refresher…

  • NOR, AKA Human Composting, is a green alternative to conventional burial or cremation that safely and peacefully transforms the body into nutrient rich compost.

  • The process is facilitated by laying the body into a composting vessel along with organic material.

  • Using air, movement, and good old fashioned time, the natural microbial process is encouraged and supports the decomposition of the body into basic elements.

  • Check out What is NOR? For move info

 

Now that we’re refreshed on the topic, here is a quick glance at the two locations I’ll be visiting!


1.Recompose

In their words... "Recompose is a licensed, full-service, green funeral home in Seattle offering human composting. As the first human composting company in the world, we are a trusted leader in ecological death care. We are Seattle’s only human composting provider and serve clients across the U.S."


Recompose and their Founder, Katrina Spade, have been at the forefront of the movement leading efforts in the science, legislation, and broader awareness of human composting locally and globally.


Recompose has a 54 vessel facility in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood. In addition to the "Greenhouse" where the vessels are located and the transformation process takes place, there is a gathering space for ceremonies equipped for in-person (25 guests) and virtual attendance as well as a separate space designed for personal time, private viewings, and hands-on care, like bathing or shrouding.

 

Provider Highlight: Katrina Spade has been exploring the concept of urban ecological death care for well over a decade, helped to facilitate the initial study spurring WA legalization, has been instrumental in broader legislative efforts, and garnered global interest in human composting along the way.

 

Learn more about Recompose and their process and watch this great CBS Sunday Morning coverage of their work below.



 

2.Return Home

In their words... "Providing families access to inclusive, gentle, transparent death care that continues the cycle of life. Return Home exists to ensure families have access to gentle, inclusive, and transparent death care that continues the cycle of life, and contributes to the sustainability of our planet."


Inspired by the groundbreaking legislation in WA, Founder Micah Truman, along with friends, family, and an "Ocean's Eleven" style team of experts, worked feverishly over the next couple years to develop their terramation vessels, process, and their Auburn, WA facility.


Return Home's Terramation Center is the largest facility in the world with 74 custom designed vessels, an arrangement room, and has recently added a service space to host laying in ceremonies.


 

Provider Highlight: Return Home is the only provider that offers the ability to visit your loved one throughout the 30-60 day human composting process.

 

Learn more about Return Home and their process and check out this great video outlining their mission below.



 

More to come! In the interim, what do you think?

Is this what you imagined? What are your thoughts on the two providers? What questions do you have that I should have in my back pocket for the upcoming tours?


Hit me with your questions / comments below and I’ll work to capture what I can in an upcoming (com)post!

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