Interra Green Burial by Mueller Memorial Supports Minnesota Resident in Fulfilling Dying Wish for Natural Organic Reduction
Saint Paul, Minnesota -
St. Paul, MN – Natural Organic Reduction (NOR), commonly referred to as human composting, is not currently legal in Minnesota. However, with the assistance of local funeral service provider Interra Green Burial by Mueller Memorial and their partner in Washington state, one Minnesota resident, Steve Wheeler, is on track to fulfill his dying wish.
Steve Wheeler, a former social studies teacher with a passion for his profession, was forced to retire due to his deteriorating health. Following his medical leave, he received a devastating terminal diagnosis of metastatic cancer, prompting him to contemplate his final disposition.
Wheeler expressed his dissatisfaction with traditional burial methods, stating, "There’s gotta be something different than dropping this big box in the ground, in a vault, with a body that has all these chemicals and stuff in it. There had to be something better." Inspired by a radio panel discussion on "human composting," he began researching natural organic reduction (NOR), only to discover its lack of legality in Minnesota. Undeterred, he turned to explore green burial as an alternative, but struggled to find a funeral home willing to provide a truly environmentally friendly burial.
It was not until Wheeler contacted Interra Green Burial by Mueller Memorial and expressed his desire for human composting that he found a funeral service provider willing to work within the legal framework in Minnesota and facilitate NOR arrangements in one of the six states where it is permitted. "And all of a sudden this door that I thought had been shut, had opened back up," remarked Wheeler.
Interra Green Burial had proactively sent their staff member, Taelor Johnson, to the inaugural Body Composting Conference held in Colorado in March 2023. At the conference, Johnson established connections with several NOR providers and forged a partnership with Return Home, a Washington-based funeral home that specializes in NOR, or terramation, as they refer to it. When Wheeler reached out to Interra, the necessary resources to facilitate NOR were already in place.
With his prearranged and prepaid transportation to Washington, Steve Wheeler's final disposition will take place there. His family has decided that the resulting cubic yard of compost will be added to a restoration preserve in Washington state. Meanwhile, in honor of Wheeler's wishes, his family will be hosting a living wake on Saturday, July 8th.
Recognizing the need for legislative change, the 2023-2024 session of the Minnesota Legislature saw the introduction of companion bills in both the State House and Senate, advocating for the legalization of natural organic reduction. While the busy legislative session delayed progress on this issue until 2024, it is hoped that NOR will ultimately receive approval.
To learn more about Interra Green Burial, a distinguished service offered by the family-owned funeral home Mueller Memorial, please visit interraburial.com.
About Interra Green Burial by Mueller Memorial: Interra Green Burial by Mueller Memorial is a local funeral service provider that is committed to offering environmentally friendly and sustainable burial options. With a focus on natural organic reduction and green burial practices, Interra Green Burial aims to provide families with choices that align with their environmental values.
Mueller Memorial is an award winning funeral and cremation provider in the Twin Cities. It is also home of Grief Compass, a proprietary program that provides the family the little bit of help as they navigate the first year after death. All family members that are served are enrolled and it is the most comprehensive care for after death.
For more information about Interra Green Burial by Mueller Memorial, contact the company here:
Interra Green Burial by Mueller Memorial
Interra Green Burial by Mueller Memorial
835 Johnson Parkway
St. Paul, MN 55106