Four leaf clover growing in nutrient-rich human composting soil

Human Composting: A Sustainable Choice For Washington Residents

By: Team Earth

Nov 24, 2023 | Human Composting 101

5 min read

What will happen after I die? It’s a question many of us have, and how we choose to say goodbye to our loved ones is one of the biggest decisions we’ll ever make. In the past, funeral options were limited, with burial and cremation being the most popular funeral methods.

However, greener funeral methods are becoming more popular in the ongoing effort to save our planet. From aquamation to green burials and human composting, Washington residents can make their final journey one that benefits the environment.

Human composting requires the least resources, making it an excellent option for those concerned about their final impact on the planet.

Earth Funeral are pioneers in human composting: we own the world’s most advanced soil transformation facility. In this guide, we’ll explain how the process works and why human composting is a proactive choice for Washington residents.

Understanding Human Composting: An Eco-Friendly Alternative

Cremation and traditional burial can negatively impact the environment, with academic studies reporting burial’s pollutive effects to include production of ions, bacteria, and fungi that can spread along the soil and even underwater.

The study also highlights that gasses created by cremation pollute the environment and pose health risks to humans and animals.

Human composting avoids all of this pollution, making it a far more sustainable option.

What Is Human Composting?

Human composting, also known as natural organic reduction or terramation, is an environmentally-friendly funeral option, which gently turns a body into healthy soil. This soil can be used for memorialization as well as conservation efforts, helping to restore the planet for future generations.

In 2019, Washington became the first state to legalize human composting, giving residents the option to have their remains transformed into soil. Since then a number of states have followed, and many more are considering legislation - see our legislation tracker for up to date details.

How Does Human Composting Work?

At Earth, our proprietary human composting process transforms a body into soil over 45 days. Our vessel technology recreates conditions found in the natural world, through the careful balancing of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and water, and the optimizing of temperature and moisture. This creates the perfect conditions for naturally occurring microbes to break the body down on a molecular level.

You can learn more about the process in our soil transformation guide.

The Environmental Benefits of Human Composting

Tranquil and sunny view of forest with many tall trees in the background. Possibly a hiking trail

There are many benefits associated with human composting, with the process being both sustainable and a beautiful way of memorializing a loved one.

No Net Carbon Emissions

Carbon emissions are one of the biggest dangers for our planet, and many industries are taking steps to lower their footprint.

Traditional cremation requires a lot of energy, with each cremation producing 535lbs of carbon dioxide. By contrast, Earth’s human composting process produces no net CO2 emissions. Each human composting funeral can reduce the amount of carbon going into our atmosphere by one metric ton.

Soil Replenishment

The human composting process gently transforms the body into nutrient-rich soil, which is then returned to the earth.

Soil health is vitally important. Healthy soil filters water, provides nutrients to plants and animals, sequesters carbon (i.e. captures and stores carbon dioxide), and helps regulate global temperatures. The final soil output from human composting can be directed towards actively positive conservation efforts.

A Better Future

Perhaps most importantly, the rise of people choosing soil transformation signifies a society more concerned with saving the planet. In recent years, we’ve witnessed significant changes in how people recycle and think about their carbon footprint.

Promoting eco-friendly practices in death and life can help our planet begin to recover from years of damage.

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Accessing Human Composting Services In Washington

Earth is a pioneer of human composting, with the largest and most advanced facilities in the world. Our services are available to all residents of Washington state.

Our dedicated team wants to make the process as simple and informative as possible. Once you complete the free quote form, we’ll arrange an in-person or video tour of our facility.

We’ll happily answer any questions, giving you peace of mind that our service is the perfect way to say goodbye.

Explore The Final Resting Place

After the soil transformation process is complete, family and friends choose how much soil they would like returned, and the remainder is used on our Olympic Peninsula conservation land. Five beautiful acres of land provide a peaceful final resting place.

Our work and the soil from our process helps the local environment thrive, returning the goodness from our bodies to the earth. With us, life does go on.

Discover the Olympic Peninsula Reserve.

Financial Considerations: The Cost of Human Composting in Washington

Budgeting for your funeral doesn’t need to be a headache, and our transparent pricing system lets you know exactly what you’ll spend. Along with the soil transformation process, our funerals also come with the following:

  • A licensed funeral director will perform the ceremony.
  • Collection and care from the place of passing.
  • Filing services - we file all the permits and other paperwork for you.
  • Expert care in our advanced facility.
  • A specified amount of soil returned to loved ones.
  • 5 Impact Trees, planted by One Tree Planted.
  • Access to our Earth Family Portal.

Human Composting vs Traditional Burial

Many people worry about the costs of funerals, but human composting is a cost-effective service compared to burial.

The National Funeral Directors Association states the average cost of a burial in the USA is just under $10,000, but it can be more expensive depending on the casket, ceremony, and vault.

Human composting costs range from just under $5,000 to just over $7,000. Also, Earth offers a Prepaid Service, which allows you to plan ahead and make monthly payments towards the cost of your funeral.

Ready to Take the Next Step? Contact Earth Today

A beautiful landscape showing a mountain in the background and Earth Funeral’s conservation land and trees in the foreground. This tranquil space is dedicated to human composting soil donations for nature conservation purposes.

We know that planning a funeral can be a stressful process, but death is as natural as life itself. Embrace a final act of environmental care with our services, ensuring that your or your loved one's departure contributes positively to the planet. By choosing our eco-conscious funeral options, you create a meaningful and lasting ecological legacy.

If you’d like to learn more about human composting, the first step is to fill out the online form for an instant price. You’ll then speak to an experienced consultant, who will explain the process and answer any of your questions.

Finally, we’ll invite you to take a virtual or in-person tour of our state-of-the-art facility.

Please feel free to get in touch with us today on (877) 327-4109 or email us. You can also get an instant price to help you plan your funeral. Our friendly soil transformation team will happily answer any questions.


I’m religious. Can I still choose human composting?

Human composting is a more sustainable alternative to other methods, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your beliefs. You can still have a religious ceremony that aligns with your beliefs after you pass away.

We’re an inclusive provider and always go out of our way to meet your last wishes.

Where is human composting currently legal?

Soil transformation is legal in Washington, New York, Nevada, Vermont, Oregon, Colorado, California, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland, and more states are set to legalize the process.

Are human composting and natural organic reduction the same thing?

Yes, human composting is referred to by a number of names, some more common than others. The process is also known as terramation and recomposition. In legislation, human composting is referred to as natural organic reduction.

I’d like to learn more about the human composting process. Where do I start?

Earth Funeral is passionate about human composting and would love to explain our process to you. We have plenty of information on our website and if you have specific questions, please feel free to call us on (877) 327-4109 or email us for more information. You can also arrange a tour of the facility, where we’ll happily answer any questions.

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