Seattle, May 22 (AP/UNB) — Ashes to ashes, guts to dirt.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains.
It allows licensed facilities to offer "natural organic reduction," which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows' worth of soil in a span of several weeks.
Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated — or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree.
"It gives meaning and use to what happens to our bodies after death," said Nora Menkin, executive director of the Seattle-based People's Memorial Association, which helps people plan for funerals.
Supporters say the method is an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation, which releases carbon dioxide and particulates into the air, and conventional burial, in which people are drained of their blood, pumped full of formaldehyde and other chemicals that can pollute groundwater, and placed in a nearly indestructible coffin, taking up land.
"That's a serious weight on the earth and the environment as your final farewell," said Sen. Jamie Pedersen, the Seattle Democrat who sponsored the measure.
He said the legislation was inspired by his neighbor: Katrina Spade, who was an architecture graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, when she began researching the funeral industry. She came up with the idea for human composting, modeling it on a practice farmers have long used to dispose of livestock.
She tweaked the process and found that wood chips, alfalfa and straw created a mixture of nitrogen and carbon that accelerates natural decomposition when a body is placed in a temperature- and moisture-controlled vessel and rotated.
A pilot project at Washington State University tested the idea last year on six bodies, all donors who Spade said wanted to be part of the study.
In 2017, Spade founded Recompose, a company working to bring the concept to the public. It's working on raising nearly $7 million to establish a facility in Seattle and begin to expand elsewhere, she said.
State law previously dictated that remains be disposed of by burial or cremation. The law, which takes effect in May 2020, added composting as well as alkaline hydrolysis, a process already legal in 19 other states. The latter uses heat, pressure, water and chemicals like lye to reduce remains.
Cemeteries across the country are allowed to offer natural or "green" burials, by which people are buried in biodegradable shrouds or caskets without being embalmed. Composting could be a good option in cities where cemetery land is scarce, Pedersen said. Spade described it as "the urban equivalent to natural burial."
The state senator said he has received angry emails from people who object to the idea, calling it undignified or disgusting.
"The image they have is that you're going to toss Uncle Henry out in the backyard and cover him with food scraps," Pedersen said.
To the contrary, he said, the process will be respectful.
Recompose's website envisions an atrium-like space where bodies are composted in compartments stacked in a honeycomb design. Families will be able to visit, providing an emotional connection typically missing at crematoriums, the company says.
"It's an interesting concept," said Edward Bixby, president of the Placerville, California-based Green Burial Council. "I'm curious to see how well it's received."
London, May 18 (AP/UNB) — It's been an eventful first year of marriage for Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle, now known formally as the Duchess of Sussex.
The besotted couple wed on May 19, 2018 before rapt crowds outside of Windsor Castle, with one of the largest TV audiences ever assembled.
The couple was lucky enough to enjoy beautiful spring weather on their wedding day. They made the best of it by taking a carriage ride through Windsor.
They maintained a frenetic pace of official engagements until Meghan withdrew from most royal duties in March ahead of the birth of their first child, Archie, who was born this month.
Harry and Meghan have also moved from central London to a more secluded location near Windsor Castle in a quest for privacy.
Dhaka, Apr 27 (UNB)- Country’s renowned rock band Arbovirus has performed at the launching event of their latest EP (Extended Play), which was observed on today (27th April, 2019) at the GP House, Bashundhara.
The concert was attended by a huge number of Arbovirus fans. The band performed some of their most beloved tracks, along with their newly released songs.
The band launched this EP on 14th April, celebrating the festive occasion of Pahela Baishakh. The EP is exclusively available on GP Music, which has sponsored the album.
“Although it was scheduled to be released on August, 2018- we are glad that we released it on the occasion of our Pahela Baishakh with providing our fans the opportunity to enjoy the new songs during the festivity”- said the band’s lead vocal Sufi Maverick.
The EP album has 4 songs in it. 3 of them have been released and the other one is going to be released on May, informed by GP music.
Formed in 2002, Arbovirus is one of the most beloved rock bands in Bangladesh. The band is heavily known for their enriched lyric and presentation of their unique styles.
Bangkok, Apr 17 (AP/UNB) — A dog found swimming more than 220 kilometers (135 miles) from shore by workers on an oil rig crew in the Gulf of Thailand has been returned safely to land.
A worker on the rig belonging to Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Vitisak Payalaw, said on his Facebook page that they saw the dog swimming toward the platform last Friday. He said they were lucky to spot it because if there had been waves it probably would not have been visible.
The dog made it to the platform, clinging to the support structure below deck without barking or whimpering, Vitisak wrote.
The crew managed to lower a rope and secure it around the dog's neck and haul it up. Vitisak said they speculated the dog might have fallen off a fishing trawler, and dubbed it Boon Rod, or Survivor.
The dog was delivered by boat to the southern port of Songkhla on Monday and was declared in good shape after being taken to the animal protection group Watchdog Thailand.
Vitisak said if the dog was unclaimed, he would like to take it to his home in northeast Thailand.
New York, Apr 13 (AP/UNB) — Fisher-Price recalled nearly 5 million infant sleepers on Friday after more than 30 babies died in them over a 10-year period.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said anyone who bought a Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play sleeper should stop using it right away and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or voucher. The sleepers, which are used to put babies to sleep, are soft padded cradles that vibrate.
Fisher-Price and the CPSC said the deaths occurred after infants rolled over from their backs to their stomachs or sides while unrestrained, but did not specify how they died. In an article this week, Consumer Reports found that some of the infants died from suffocation.
A safety warning was issued last week, but The American Academy of Pediatrics urged Fisher-Price and the CPSC to recall the sleepers, calling them "deadly."
In a statement Friday, Fisher-Price said that it stood by the safety of its products and said it issued the voluntary recall "due to reported incidents in which the product was used contrary to the safety warnings and instructions."
The recall covers about 4.7 million sleepers, which sold for between $40 and $149 since 2009.