Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, September 27, 2021

Body composting a 'green' alternative to burial, cremation

Seth Viddal and one of his employees have built a "vessel they hope will usher in a more environmentally friendly era of mortuary science that includes the natural organic reduction of human remains, also known as body composting." 

According to Viddal, who compared the process to backyard composting of food scraps and yard waste, "It's a natural process where the body is returned to an elemental level over a short period of time. . .This is the same process but done with a human body inside of a vessel, and in our case, in a controlled environment." 

On September 7, Colorado became the second state after Washington to allow human body composting. Beginning next July, Oregon will allow the same practice. 

Viddal co-owns The Natural Funeral in Lafayette and lobbied the Colorado legislature for the option to practice body composting and. began building a prototype vessel soon after the bipartisan bill was signed into law. 

Viddal, who calls the process "an exciting ecological option," said that "[c]omposting itself is a very living function and it's performed by living organisms. . .There are billions of microbial, living things in our digestive tracts and just contained in our body." 

See Body composting a 'green' alternative to burial, cremation, Fox Business, September 16, 2021. 


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