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Colorado becomes 2nd state to allow for human composting

Washington state already allows the practice, and multiple others are considering similar laws this year.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) signed a bill into law Monday that makes the Centennial State the second in the country to allow for human composting, which essentially allows people to be made into soil when they die.

Human composting is already legal in Washington. New York and Oregon are considering similar bills.

It works by placing a body in a container with organic material so it will break down naturally. House Bill 21-006 prohibits the soil of multiple people to be combined without their permission, for the soil to be used to grow food for human consumption or for it to be sold.

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Though Polis has signed the bill into law, it will take time for Colorado funeral homes to make the service available. Karen van Vuuren, managing partner of the Natural Funeral in Lafayette, said she looks forward to this new option for Coloradans.

“It’s totally an individual choice about what you do with your body in the end and what is meaningful,” she said. “So, if you get to choose something where you’re leaving a positive legacy, whether it’s natural organic reduction or water cremation, whatever it is, I feel that’s for you.”

Natural reduction will likely cost about $6,000. A typical cremation in Denver is between $3,000 and $5,000 with a memorial service.

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