Human Composting? Colorado Could Become Second State to Legalize Turning Your Body Into Soil After Death

The bill has already passed in one legislative chamber

Recompose human composting
Photo: Sabel Roizen/Recompose

Colorado may soon join Washington as the second state in the nation to legalize human composting,

According to The Denver Post, a bill has already passed one Colorado legislative chamber and is only a few votes and one signature away from allowing people to turn their bodies into soil after death.

The measure, which is sponsored by two Democrats and a Republican, does not allow the soil to be sold or used to grow food for human consumption. Combining the soil of multiple people is also prohibited under the bill.

According to Recompose, a human-composting company already in use in Washington, the process "requires one-eighth of the energy used in conventional burial or cremation" and saves "one metric ton of carbon dioxide per person."

The company's accelerated procedure costs about as much as cremation but is thought to be more environmentally friendly. One body can create a few hundred pounds of soil, according to Recompose.

Recompose human composting
Sabel Roizen/Recompose

To begin the process, a body is placed into a "cradle" and then transferred into a vessel filled with wood chips, alfalfa and straw. The body is then covered with more of that material and the vessels get stacked on top of one another.

Katrina Spade, the founder and CEO of Recompose, said she thinks of the process as a "hotel for the dead." The bodies stay in a greenhouse-like facility for about 30 days where non-organic materials are sorted and screened as the body is transformed into soil, according to the Post.

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After this step, the soil is moved to a finishing container where it dries out for two to four weeks.

"It's an innovative idea in a state that prides itself on natural beauty and opportunities," Sen. Robert Rodriguez, a Democratic sponsor on the bill, said of human composting.

Denver resident Wendy Deboskey told the Post she was excited about the bill as the idea of human composting appeals to her as an environmentalist.

"It just seems like a really kind of natural and gentle way to be completely returned to the earth, only on an expedited basis," she said.

Recompose human composting

The other sponsors on the bill, Democratic Rep. Brianna Titone and Republican Rep. Matt Soper, said they have also heard that others are looking forward to the option.

Such procedures aren't entirely uncommon.

When actor Luke Perry died in March 2019, he was buried in a special eco-friendly mushroom suit instead of a traditional casket, similar to the idea of human composting.

His daughter Sophie Perry shared on Instagram at the time that the Beverly Hills, 90210 star excitedly discovered the suit, which "returns your body to the earth without harming the environment," and requested that he be buried in it when the time came.

According to, the company that designs the special burial option, the suit works to essentially speed up the decomposition process. It has built-in mushrooms and other microorganisms that work together to do this, as well as neutralize toxins found in the body and transfer nutrients to plant life.

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