Letters to the Editor: Ignore faith-based opposition to human composting, the greenest burial option

Two people stand together looking into a human composting container.
Mourners say their final goodbye to a loved one at Return Home, a human composting facility in Auburn, Wash.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Appropriately, your article on composting human remains appeared in print on a Sunday, the traditional Sabbath for many Christians.

It may have been deemed impolitic for the article to consider the root source of opposition to the most environmentally friendly means for disposing of human remains. To wit: Some faiths hold that miraculous resurrections await the casket-buried bodies of a church’s followers.

Unsurprisingly, no Bible Belt state is represented among the 10 that have legalized human composting.


Let’s pray that the heartening stories shared by surviving relatives of composted loved ones will help change the minds of religious adherents. It’s time for them to take the biblical “dust-to-dust” admonition literally.

Roberta Helms, Santa Barbara


To the editor: Composting human bodies is wasteful, the opposite of “green.”

The highest and best use of a corpse is to recycle the parts by making a whole-body donation to a medical school. This option costs nothing. Gifts of whole-body donations 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 school’s use of my mother’s body, her remains were cremated.

Kim Cox, El Cajon