Of all the ideas for after-death care that I’ve run across, I’m most excited by The Urban Death Project, so much so that I even donated to their Kickstarter campaign (and have a lovely set of postcards to show for it!) I really REALLY want this option for all of us!
I’ve long known that traditional burial isn’t my destiny, in large part because of exorbitant costs. The choice was simple, then–cremation, right?
And for a great many years, that was my answer. I know where I want to be spread, what I want left behind, the whole affair. Burn me, sprinkle me, done.
But then Eloise Woods had to get in the way. Learning more, seeing how natural burial works, understanding the harmony and peacefulness and return-to-nature that a natural burial can bring–well, I want that. Ashes, despite the old “sprinkle me in nature/under a tree” ideals, don’t have anything good for the earth (save some pH adjustment). But burying your ooky, fatty, decomposing yumminess, for the soil to regain? That’s where it’s at! And gradually, my plans shifted, to where I’m almost buying my plot at Eloise Woods right now.
But the gold standard for cool body disposal, for returning you in usable form to the earth, has to be with The Urban Death Project. In what is the equivalent of a behemoth compost bin, conditions are created just perfectly to render bodies into beautiful, nutrient rich compost, to be used directly for the benefit of the earth wherever you wish, in as many locations as you wish. No excess pollution or fossil fuel usage, no chemicals or expensive caskets, not even any digging involved–just a ramp to the top, and six weeks of processing time, then pull me out of the the bottom, ready for service.
Curious? I am too! And hopeful. The more I learn, the more I hear Katrina Spade speak, the more I believe in her vision. If Katrina can get the Urban Death Project off the ground, it’s my hope that I’ll live near enough to one of them to be able to use her services when I need them.
Her most recent interview and article, from PRI, speaks to the process, her research, and how the system will work.
Click to hear Katrina’s plan for composting bodies
Curious? Want to know more about not letting all your nutrients burn up or get washed down the drain? Like the harmony of natural deathcare? Interested in avoiding an unnecessarily chemicaled ending?
Let’s talk about your options. The Urban Death Project isn’t one of them just yet, but you do have choices!