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Natural Organic Reduction

Natural Organic Reduction (NOR), also known as “human composting,” is the safe and peaceful process of transforming human remains into nutrient rich compost or soil.

NOR places the body into a controlled environment alongside organic materials such as wood chips, straw, and wildflowers. The natural microbial activity supports the conversion of the body into basic elements. 

A beautiful tree stands out among others, fall colors beginning to appear

The Process

Laying in

The body is laid into a private composting vessel where the majority of the reduction process will take place.


Natural pairing

The body is gently surrounded by a bed of natural material such as wood chips, straw, and wildflowers.



The combined material remains within the vessel for 40-50 days. Air and movement is used to encourage the natural microbial process.



The aerobic composting process generates heat which supports the safe transformation of the body into nutrient rich compost.


New life!

Loved ones can use the nutrient rich compost to bring new life through death by planting a new tree, supporting a flourishing private garden, or contributing to broader reforestation efforts across Minnesota.  

Oval image of body silhouette laid over woodchips
Circular image of hay
Circular image of wood chips
Circular image of wild flowers
Circular image of soil
Circular image of two people planting a tree at sunset
Circular image of family walking in a path among trees
Circular image of stone pathway in a beautiful garden

Why NOR?


Provides a green alternative to current practices

Conventional coffin burial and cremation account for 94% of all funerals in the US. Both have significant negative impacts on our environment. According to the Green Burial Council, conventional burials account for 64,000 tons of steel, 1.6 million tons of concrete, and 4 million gallons of embalming fluid annually, while cremation has an annual carbon output equivalent to burning roughly 400 million pounds of coal. NOR uses 1/8th of the energy as these processes and is estimated to save roughly 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere. 


Presents the possibility of bringing new life through death

Leaning into the "the principles of nature," NOR lays the body with organic material into a private vessel, adds oxygen and movement to facilitate microbial activity, and breaks the body down into its natural and nutrient rich elements. Thanks to the heat generated from this process, the material is free of microorganisms and most plant and animal pathogens. Inorganic materials are sifted and removed and the final product is ready to support new life.


Offers a modern take on historic traditions 

While conventional burial and cremation are the norm, both of these practices have relatively young histories in the US, introduced within the past 150 years. We have been performing what is often referred to now as natural or green burial for our loved ones for most of human history. Building on this rich history and tradition, NOR provides a monitored and more efficient process for returning our bodies to the natural environment.  

Hiking trail through tall trees in autumn
Wildflowers sprouting across a yard among trees
Trees reaching up to the skies
Circular sticker saying "Future Compost" Live On Minnesota

Join our journey!

Join our journey to bring NOR to MN and become future compost!

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