COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado is now one of three states where body composting is a legal form of burial.
Body composting was legalized in Colorado in September as an ecological method for burial. Poisson was the first person in Colorado to undergo the process.
The family of Joey Poisson donated his remains to help restore the Colorado Burial Preserve.
“They were transformed, metamorphized into a rich soil that was spread out today,” said Ben Martin, The Natural Funeral life-cycle celebrant. “It’s a laying out ceremony.”
The ceremony featured various elements of burial including Japanese and Native American traditions to not only honor Poisson but also his choice.
“We built a cairn,” Martin said. “It’s out milestone. Stacked stones that are milestones along the path which we are our milestone today for body composting and the first one out is setting the trail for others to follow.”
“Conventional cemeteries require the use of an outer burial container. It’s also called a vault,” said Colorado Burial Preserve owner, Emily Miller. “This represents a huge expense for the family and it also entirely encases the person in this impermeable protective structure. The remains might never be returned to earth.”
According to The Natural Funeral, human composting is considered to be the most ecologically-friendly method of burial.
“We’re not pouring toxic embalming fluids or anything that might be harmful to the earth. We’re really honoring the earth and saying thank you,” Martin explained. “Thank you, body. Thank you, Earth. Here’s some nourishment.”
The owner of CBP said if a family wants a marked place to honor their loved one, this method could also be special as well.
“Families can purchase a plot, enter all of the soil in one grave space,” Miller said. “You can still have a headstone. The family could come back and view the thriving seeds growing, the blooming on their loved one’s soil.”