Delaware Is The Eighth State To Allow Natural Organic Reduction


In the past few years, natural, eco-friendly ways of burying people have become more common.

The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would make Delaware one of only eight states that offer a unique way to be buried.

Rep. Sean Lynn, D-Dover, pushed House Bill 162, which lets cemeteries start giving natural organic reduction after death, which is becoming more and more popular.

Natural organic reduction is a kind and careful process that speeds up the breakdown of human remains into dirt.

For about 30 days, the bodies are kept together with straw, wood chips, or other natural materials in big containers as part of this process.

When warm air and human remains are mixed, the mixture is turned every so often. Eventually, the human remains break down into a soil material that can be given to the family of the dead.

People think that natural organic reduction is better for the environment than burning because it doesn’t use formaldehyde and doesn’t release carbon dioxide and mercury into the air.

It also takes 1/8 as much energy as burning.

Studies have shown that the soil is very good and can grow back in the seven other states that allow natural organic reduction.

People who have hip or knee replacements made of titanium would have those taken out before the process.

According to Sen. Laura Sturgeon, D-Hockessin, if you want to live an environmentally friendly life, you could avoid single-use plastic bottles, recycle the plastics and other materials you do use, compost your food scraps and leaves, let your lawn turn into a meadow, hang your clothes to dry instead of using the dryer, drive an electric car farther and ride your bike shorter distances. “Your whole life, you tried to cut down on your carbon footprint. But when you die, you only have two choices that are bad for the environment: being buried or cremated.

14 people said “yes” and 7 said “no.” Sen. Eric Buckson, R-Dover, was the only Republican to vote in favor of the bill.

Sen. Bryant Richardson, R-Seaford, said, “I think I have a little more respect for the human body than to turn it into soil.” “As for turning my body into dirt, I just can’t! I don’t think I can handle this.” I understand that it might work for some, but I have to say no to it.”

That made Sen. Stephanie Hansen, D-Middletown, angry.

She said, “It’s interesting to me that we have such a bias against soil and compost when that’s what our lives depend on.” “Because of the way your soil is made, the plants that we need grow there, and the bugs that eat them feed the mammals that we eat. The plants also make oxygen that we need.” All of that is built on dirt; soil is the foundation.

In a funny way, Richardson said that he doesn’t dislike soil itself, but he doesn’t like it becoming soil.

Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, said the bill goes against what he was taught and what he believes. He also said he doesn’t like the thought of turning into a tomato.

When asked what she thought, Sen. Marie Pinkney, D-New Castle, read from Genesis 3:19.

“You will eat by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, from which you came, because you are dust and will return to dust.”

The bill will become law when Gov. John Carney signs it, making the First State the eighth in the country to have legal natural organic reduction.

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