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Seth Viddal, Co-owner of The Natural Funeral with the Chrysalis. This is our vessel for Body Composting (also known as Natural Reduction) built by Seth Viddal and Chris Olachia in Colorado. Photo credit: Associated Press
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Body Composting (Natural Reduction) is our newest ecological offering to families who care about leaving the earth with a gentle, loving touch. This simple method of Body Composting transforms human remains into soil. Our process occurs in a vessel that is safely sheltered in an environmentally controlled facility. Over the course of a few months, natural microbial activity converts the body into a rich, organic, life-giving soil. The temperature in the vessel naturally rises during the Body Composting process. This sterilizes and stabilizes the contents as the conversion takes place.Once the reduction process is complete, about a cubic yard of soil remains. We can return this to families or donate it to farms.  The Natural Funeral actively supported the introduction of legislation to legalize Body Composting, which became legal in 2021. We are the first Colorado funeral provider to offer this service through our own Body Composting (Natural Reduction) system, in the Chrysalis. If you would like to learn more about Body Composting, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our Holistic Funeral Coordinators to record your wishes.  You may document your wishes without prepaying.  Or you may prepay for your service over many months with one of our secure insurance products.

Read more about Body Composting and The Natural Funeral in this article from the Associated Press.  

FAQ about Body Composting:

1. How long does Body Composting take?

Body composting is a natural process. The body is transformed by microbes into soil. The amount of time is dependent on many factors such as temperature, moisture and chemical balances. The entire process can take up to a year but we aim to complete it in about half that time.

2. How does Body Composting smell?

Body composting occurs in a sealed chamber. Air is blown into the chamber and passed through a charcoal filter prior to be vented outside. This method of aeration produces no odors from the body composting vessel.

3. Why would anybody choose Body Composting?

Body composting has significant ecological advantages over other forms of disposition. For example, there are no appreciable carbon emissions or release of toxic fumes in contrast to flame cremation. Nor does it take up any real estate as a conventional burial might. We see Body Composting as the express lane for a body to rejoin the cycle of life.

4. What about germs? Is this sanitary?

The health and safety of the general public and our team is a priority. Composting is a biochemical activity that creates enough heat to kill any pathogens that remain in the body after death. The temperature in the vessel is measured regularly to ensure that this natural form of sanitation is occurring. See http://compost.css.cornell.edu/microorg.html or other scientific description of how this works.

5. What is left after Body Composting is done?

When Body Composting is complete we are left with about one cubic yard of rich, fertile compost that is ready to apply on the Earth. We offer families the opportunity to take as much of this compost as a remembrance as they wish. The rest will be used for agriculture. It is not recommended that it be used to grow human food.