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Soil Transformation: A More Sustainable Funeral Alternative

This is a guest post from Earth Funeral.

The funeral industry faces a sustainability issue. Traditional burial and cremation make up the overwhelming majority of funerals in the US and both are pollutive processes.

In a decade where many industries have worked hard to change their ways and improve their environmental impact, the funeral sector has been relatively slow to change. Addressing the climate issue requires either adapting and improving the environmental impact of existing funeral options (e.g. through natural or green burials), or developing new funeral methods. This latter approach has seen the birth of ideas such as alkaline hydrolysis and soil transformation, the second of which promises to solve environmental problems while also holding conceptual appeal and beauty.

What is soil transformation?

Soil transformation is another term for natural organic reduction, a process that is gaining popularity as an environmentally-friendly alternative to burial and cremation.

The process gently transforms a human body into nutrient-rich soil over a period of 30 to 45 days. The resulting soil can be used for memorialization - such as scattering or planting - or for conservation projects, given the soil’s quality and nutrient density.

Those who opt for soil transformation are often nature lovers who are attracted by the concept of returning their bodies to the natural world. Added to this conceptual appeal are the environmental credentials, which make the process an ideal choice for those concerned about the future of the planet.

Better for the environment

Burial involves the unsustainable consumption of land and the introduction of damaging materials to the earth, and cremation relies on fossil fuels. Soil transformation, on the other hand, can both achieve carbon neutrality and produce soil that helps the environment.

The first key point is that the soil transformation process requires significantly less energy and can be powered entirely by renewable energy sources, thereby avoiding the significant carbon emissions of cremation.

The process also avoids the carbon produced in the manufacture of caskets, headstones and graves. The soil can be returned directly to the earth, without burial containers.

Land conservation and restoration

The soil transformation process produces healthy soil. Soil plays a big role in keeping ecosystems healthy, and the process therefore presents the opportunity to use the nutrient-rich soil for conservation projects.

Soil helps the environment by providing nutrients to wildlife, removing and storing carbon from the atmosphere, and filtering polluting materials.

Healthy soil’s uses on conservation projects can include reforestation, tackling soil erosion, and revitalizing plant life and wildlife.

About Earth Funeral

Founded in 2020, Earth’s mission is to provide the most environmentally friendly deathcare option, and the easiest way to make and manage arrangements.

Specializing in soil transformation, our process is natural, carbon neutral and a regenerative approach to deathcare. We own and operate state-of-the-art soil transformation facilities, and acquire land to restore and protect for future generations, using the soil from our process.

Earth’s Washington soil transformation facility

We also develop industry-leading consumer technology, with the goal of making our process as simple as possible for families to navigate. All arrangements are made online in less than 15 minutes, legal documents are signed electronically, and each family gets access to the Earth Portal (real-time status updates, beautiful online obituaries, and collaboration with family members).

We believe that we’re setting a new standard in deathcare, and paving the way for a sustainable funeral industry.

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Last updated May 26, 2022
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