“To Be a Field of Poppies”

Here’s author Lisa Wells’ new essay on the ethos and practice of human composting at Recompose:

As a matter of convenience, one might be deluded into thinking their ecological sins in life could be absolved in death. Recompose claims that each person who chooses composting over conventional burial or cremation will prevent an average of one metric ton of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. According to the EPA’s calculator, that is a modest carbon payback, equal to the consumption of about ten tanks of gas. On the other hand, this is preferable to adding to the debt.

To my mind, it’s the perceptual shift that bears the greatest promise. If we begin to imagine ourselves as beneficial contributors to the earth in death, rather than as agents of sickness and damage, maybe we can start to see that possibility for our lives. Put another way: we don’t have to wait to die to make ourselves useful.

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