shrouded mannequin in front of human composting vessel
Sep 2022

Movement to Change State Funeral Laws Continues

California became the fifth state to legalize human composting as an alternative to cremation or burial

On Sunday September 18th, 2022, California became the fifth state to legalize human composting as an alternative to cremation or burial. Governor Newsom signed the bill, which was based on the original 2019 Washington State human composting bill. The five states which have now legalized this green funeral option include WA, CA, CO, OR, and VT. All state legislatures refer to the process of human composting as Natural Organic Reduction (NOR).

The California bill failed twice before, making it all the way to the Governor’s desk in 2021 only to be vetoed. However, in its third year, efforts by Recompose and Assembly Member Cristina Garcia helped get the bill fully approved and signed into law.

Recompose first approached Washington State’s legislature after meeting with Senator Jamie Pedersen in 2018. Senator Pedersen went on to sponsor the first bill in the world to legalize this new death care option. Recompose has subsequently been involved in the passage of human composting laws in each of the additional four states, providing expert testimony to legislative committees, sharing best practices with regulatory bodies, and garnering support via grassroots efforts of its community and network.

Recompose founder and CEO Katrina Spade states, “In order to change the death care paradigm, we first have to change the laws.”

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About Recompose

Recompose is a licensed, full-service, green funeral home in Seattle offering human composting. As the first human composting company in the world, we are a trusted leader in ecological death care. We are Seattle’s only human composting provider and serve clients across the U.S.

Recompose Seattle
4 S. Idaho St, Seattle, WA 98134

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Land Acknowledgement
Recompose acknowledges we make our lives and livelihoods on the lands of the Coast Salish People, specifically the Duwamish People. We honor with gratitude the Duwamish People past and present, the land itself, and the Duwamish Tribe. Colonization is an active, persistent process. Indigenous communities continue to be resilient in protecting their ecological and cultural lifeways and deathways despite ongoing oppression. Recompose respects, shares, and supports this commitment to climate healing and environmental justice. Join Recompose in contributing to Real Rent Duwamish.