The first human composting funeral home has opened in Washington, and Oregon could take a step toward legalizing it too.

Jackson County State Representative Pam Marsh is championing a bill to legalize human composting in Oregon during the 2021 session, as Washington State did in 2019.

Katrina Spade is the founder of Recompose, the nation’s first funeral home of its type, in Kent. In a Ted Talk she explains the high environmental cost of traditional burial or cremation. “The truly awful truth is that the very last thing that most of us will do on this earth, is poison it,” said Spade.

At Recompose “vessels,” each a hexagon enclosing a steel cylinder full of soil, hold human bodies undergoing the process of natural organic reduction. “Nature is really, really good at death,” Spade says.

Eventually she says it becomes compost that helps life spring again.