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World’s First Human Composting Facility is Coming to Seattle in 2021

The revolutionary system converts human remains into soil as an alternative to cremation or burial.

Emma Fiala

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Human Composting
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(TMU) — In a move hailed as a positive step by environmentalists, Washington became the first U.S. state to legalize the composting of human bodies in May of this year.

And now, the Evergreen State will become home to the world’s first human composting facility in 2021 thanks to Katrina Spade, founder and CEO of Recompose, after the legislation she helped enact goes into effect in May 2020.

According to its website, Spade founded the revolutionary company with the goal of offering “natural organic reduction to the public,” a system that converts human remains into soil as an alternative to cremation or burial.

Recompose’s website explains the benefits of natural organic reduction:

“By converting human remains into soil, we minimize waste, avoid polluting groundwater with embalming fluid, and prevent the emissions of CO2 from cremation and from the manufacturing of caskets, headstones, and grave liners.

By allowing organic processes to transform our bodies and those of our loved ones into a useful soil amendment, we help to strengthen our relationship to the natural cycles while enriching the earth.”

In November, around 75 people attended what was described by the Seattle Times as “a housewarming party for a funeral home where bodies would not be burned or buried, but laid in individual vessels to become clean, usable compost.”

Spade told the crowd, made up of investors, doctors, architects, funeral directors, legislators, and lawyers:

“You are all members of the death-care revolution.”

When all is said and done, the process will yield about a cubic yard of soil per person. The soil can be taken home by friends or family and used to grow a tree or a garden. Remaining soil will be used on 640 acres of conservation land in southern Washington that will one day become an ecologically sustainable village.

In contrast, those who have opted to be cremated as a means to save money or take up less space geographically, have inadvertently left a burden on their family members. Spade explained:

“These days, some families regard even ashes from cremation as a burden, not a joy. As in, ‘we’ve had these ashes in the garage for six years.’ And we’re creating a cubic yard of soil.”

While Recompose is not yet up and running, the company is aiming for a $5,500 price tag for its natural organic reduction services while a green burial in the state of Washington averages around $6,000, cremation can range anywhere from $1,000-$7,000, and a conventional burial in a cemetery can set you back at least $8,000.

The idea may seem outlandish or uncomfortable to some, but Recompose is more than just a pipe dream. As an architecture student, Spade first became interested in the funeral industry back in 2012. She quickly delved into the idea of “environmentally sustainable, urban-focused method of disposition of the dead,” after seeing a lack of environmental ethic in both the cremation and burial industries.

In 2014 Spade’s idea took a turn toward reality when she received the Echoing Green Climate Fellowship. With the funding that followed she founded the non-profit Urban Death Project (UDP) and began working with soil science researchers, law professionals, and those in the funeral industry to lay the groundwork for a revolutionary system of death care the world had never seen.

Over the next few years Spade continued to work on UDP before securing over $90,000 via a Kickstarter campaign. Her idea also reached wide audiences through worldwide media coverage.

Then in 2017 Space founded Recompose, a public benefit corporation, to bring her idea to reality—a reality now taking shape in a warehouse in SoDo, where the company is ready to live out their mission to “offer a new form of death care that honors both our loved ones and the planet earth.”

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

News

Adam Toledo: Chicago Police Video Shows 13-Year-Old’s Hands Were Up When Cops Shot Him

Elias Marat

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The Chicago Police Department has released gruesome footage depicting the moment that police officers fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo while his hands were up.

In new bodycam footage from the March 29 slaying, an officer pursuing Toledo can be heard shouting at the young boy to show his “f*cking hands” before shooting him a single time, leaving the boy covered in blood and gasping for air.

While the officer can be heard shouting “drop it,” the teenager appeared to have empty hands when he raised his arms in the moment before he was shot. Video also shows officers discovering a handgun near the scene.

Adam was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The video released Thursday by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability the footage from the officer who shot Toledo, along with 16 other body-warn camera video clips, two recordings of 911 calls, an incident report, and a response report, along with other materials.

The mother of Adam, Elizabeth Toledo, reported the boy one week prior to the shooting, although he did return hom on March 27 before leaving that night, reports WBEZ.  Because Adam did not have any form of identification, the family wasn’t informed by police about his death until March 31. In a GoFundMe page set up by Elizabeth, it was noted that one of Adam’s “dreams was to become a police officer.”

“It weighs heavy on our hearts to be planning our last goodbyes instead of watching him grow up and live out those dreams,” the family noted on the page.

The child has been described as having a “big imagination” and was a fan of children’s shows and zombie movies.

“Adam was really into zombies. And the zombie apocalypse. He even had this zombie apocalypse bag packed and ready to go. Some of his favorite movies and TV shows were ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,’ ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Cars,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’” Elizabeth told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has appealed for calm over the release of the gruesome footage while businesses in the area have boarded up their windows in anticipation of large protests.

“We live in a city that is traumatized by a long history of police violence and misconduct,” the mayor told reporters. “So while we don’t have enough information to be the judge and jury of this particular situation, it is certainly understandable why so many of our residents are feeling that all too familiar surge of outrage and pain.”

The release of the video comes amid continuing anger and grief over the April 11 shooting of Daunte Wright by an officer in a Minneapolis suburb.

It also comes as authorities fear a new wave of protests as communities await the outcome of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer accused of killing George Floyd last May after kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

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Music

Lil Nas X Song Is #1 In Saudi Arabia, Where Homosexuality Is Illegal Under Sharia Law

Elias Marat

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Lil Nas X has been on top of the world for weeks now, whether it’s living rent-free in the heads of homophobes or topping the Billboard charts after his smash hit “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” dominated playlists.

And ironically, the anthem has become the most-played song in Saudi Arabia, the conservative kingdom where open expressions of same-sex love and even private acts of gay sex are punishable by death.

The song, whose video features the artist giving Satan himself a lap dance have dominated news conversations all over the globe, smashed through to the top of the Billboard Global 200, which ranks top tracks in over 200 territories, on Monday.

According to Apple Music, the song is also leading Saudi Arabia’s top 100 charts as the most-played song in the country.

Apparently overjoyed by the ranking, Lil Nas X tweeted: “WE NUMBER 1 IN SAUDI ARABIA WTF LETS GOOOO”

The autocratic kingdom, which has long been governed by a strict yet uncodified interpretation of Sharia law, has an atrocious record on LGBTQ rights and classifies homosexuality as a variety of extremism. N many circumstances, gay sex is punishable by death.

As the Human Dignity Trust explains, “The punishment varies depending on the circumstances: married men and interfaith sex are punished with the death penalty, while non-married men are punished with flogging. Sharia law principles underpinning the criminal law in Saudi Arabia also impose strict dress codes that impact on the gender expression of transgender people.”

However, this does not mean that Saudi citizens abstain from these “illicit” acts. As one fan wrote on Twitter: Period!!!! Let’s correct the narrative about the Middle East! Shoutout Saudi Arabia.”

However, another user responded: “I lived in Saudi Arabia my whole [life] and if I come out I will literally get stoned and people will be happy about it, saying it’s a ‘narrative’ doesn’t help anyone in the contrary, the middle IS homophobic and change NEEDS to happen.”

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Corruption

Cop Who ‘Accidentally’ Killed Daunte Wright Arrested on 2nd-Degree Manslaughter Charges

Elias Marat

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The former Minnesota cop who shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old unarmed Black man, during a traffic stop will now face charges of second-degree manslaughter, a prosecutor announced on Wednesday.

The brutal killing of Wright, which comes amid the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for last May’s killing of George Floyd, threatens to spark a new round of nationwide protests against police brutality and discriminatory policing.

On Wednesday, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput confirmed that Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, would be charged.

On Wednesday morning, agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrested Potter, the bureau announced in a statement.

Potter was taken into custody in St. Paul and will be booked at Hennepin County jail.

On Tuesday, Potter resigned as demands for justice for Wright reverberated nationwide. Her resignation coincided with that of the city’s former police chief, who claims that Potter accidentally grabbed her Glock when she thought she was reaching for her Taser during the Sunday traffic stop.

Wright’s family and attorneys have rejected the claim that Wright’s death was merely the result of an “accident” and are demanding accountability and sweeping reforms of policing in Minnesota.

Potter could face up to 10 years in prison along with a $20,000 fine, per Minnesota law.

“While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back,” said Wright family attorney Ben Crump in a statement.

“This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate and unlawful use of force,” the statement added.

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