Rabb announces legislation to expand green human interment options

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, announced today that they are drafting legislation to expand the environmentally friendly options available to Pennsylvanians for after-death care.

“This is about increasing green options for Pennsylvanians such as the use of alkaline hydrolysis, also known as water-based cremation,” Rabb said. “It would also allow for a process called natural organic reduction, where the body is placed in a large vessel with straw, wood chips and other natural materials. The body then decomposes naturally, with the process sped up by the presence of microorganisms.”

The process used in natural organic reduction uses one-eighth the amount of energy of a more traditional cremation and creates soil that is perfectly safe for gardens, trees and general land use.

Cremation is viewed as an environmentally friendly alternative to burial; however, that’s not necessarily the case as the process required to cremate a body needs heat in excess of 1,600 degrees.

The amount of energy required to generate heat above 1,600 degree is massive and emits about as much carbon dioxide as taking a 1,000-mile-long road trip in a car, Rabb said.

Rabb is a member of the PA Climate Caucus.