Letters to the Editor: Looking for a ‘green’ burial? Donate your body to science

A man stands next to a human composting display that includes a shroud and flowers.
Return Home Chief Executive Micah Truman explains his Auburn, Wash., funeral home’s human composting burial option.
(Jason Redmond / AFP via Getty Images)

To the editor: I see the new human composting burial option costs $5,000 to $7,000. There is another “green” way to put bodies to use, and it is $5,000 to $7,000 cheaper.

“Recycling” body parts, by making a whole-body donation to a medical school, costs nothing. Gifts of whole-body donations to medical schools allow organs to be harvested, saving lives and educating the next generation of doctors.

When my mother died, we followed her wishes and notified the medical school at UC San Diego, which sent people to respectfully remove her body. Following the use of my mother’s body, her remains were cremated.


Kim C. Cox, El Cajon


To the editor: Your article on human composting reminded me of Diogenes the Cynic, who in his will requested that his corpse be thrown over the city walls, so that in death his body could feed the beasts that he fed upon in life.

Perhaps human composting reflects that same generosity of spirit. By tossing our bodies in a pit with straw, alfalfa and wood chips, our bodily fluids will be neutralized, turning them into fluffy brown soil. That way our bodies feed the plants and indirectly feed the beasts upon which we feast.

Fengar Gael, Irvine


To the editor: What else is new? “Composting” is just another word for “dust to dust,” as in wrapping the body in a shroud, no embalming and burying it in the ground, no vault involved.

This returns the body whence it came and releases the soul to wherever it will go.

Patrick Mauer, Pasadena