Show #274 – Terramation: Turning Death Into Life with Micah Truman and Brie Smith


Love our new show tune in the intro/outro? It’s talented Australian independent artist Melanie Horsnell’s song “Birds”. So proud to support this wonderful Aussie artist and have her grace the show with her wonderful words and song!

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If you want to feel more certain and more hopeful about the future of food and our planet, this book is for you – Order yours today!

And on this week’s show!

This week, a heads up that in this episode we talk about death and dying a lot so if this is raw for you right now, you might want to skip it and I’m sending you strength and hugs. Micah Truman and Brie Smith from Return Home discuss how they’re making an impact on the planet and on the grieving process for the families they support as their loved ones pass away, by creating a system by which families can move through the grieving produce for weeks by their loved ones’ side, and receive the gift of fertile soil at the end of that process. I found it fascinating and it just made so much sense to me as I learned about how it works and what kind of experiences the families have in the process. I think in a culture that has taboos around death and dying and shame around grief, it’s time for a new conversation and way forward I interview. Enjoy the show and I can’t wait to hear what you think. 

Questions I asked Micah and Brie:

  • What led you to be interested in the experience and process of physical death? 
  • Was there always an understanding that people should be returned to the earth or was this an aha of sorts along the way for you?
  • We all think when a loved one dies our choices are cremation or buying a coffin and burying them that way but you have a different way? 
  • So let’s talk human composting and why it needs to become the front runner in death care and transition.
  • Why it is THE green option for deathcare
  • How do we shift the current system? Do all countries accept human composting t this point in time? 
  • What are the holistic benefits to the humans left behind when someone has a terramation such as composting? 
  • How can we foster a healthy grieving process in the loved ones left behind? 

About Return Home:

Return Home specializes in Terramation (Human Composting) and is currently the largest and most transparent facility in the world to offer this. We began with the desire to offer a more earth-friendly alternative to traditional death care and to empower families to make death care decisions that make our world a better place. Our focus is concentrated on three primary areas:

  • First and foremost, care of the family/decedent by providing services that allow each family to care for their loved ones as they see fit.
  • Providing death care methods that allow us to return to the earth simply, gently, and without polluting it.
  • Dedication to offering our community ethical and transparent services, and time to grieve at their hearts’ pace.

Micah’s long-standing passion for the environment is the foundation of Return Home. Driven to create a company expressly designed to ensure a sustainable future, Micah developed Return Home’s proprietary Terramation process to ensure that environmentally friendly end-of-life options as finally available to the general public.

A Seattle-native and experienced international entrepreneur, Micah spent years living in Asia running several online technology companies before founding Asia-Wise, an international real estate investment company.  Micah is a graduate of Oberlin College, and has been featured in The New York Times, Inc. Magazine and on National Public Radio.

Brie is responsible for all at-need death care including services, arrangements, ceremonies, and ensuring families wishes are fulfilled with dignity and respect. She also leads Return Home’s educational outreach efforts with the funeral industry.

Brie is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Washington state, and has served two terms as the President of the Puget Sound Funeral Directors Association where she remains actively involved. She has worked in the funeral industry since 2011, graduating with honors from MCC’s Mortuary Science Program in 2014.

This week’s sponsors:

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Other helpful links:




Flood Donation Resources for Lismore/Northern Rivers and Brisbane:

Lismore Library

What do donate: Cash/Books in any of these categories: Adult Fiction/Large Print Books/Junior & Young Adult Books/Children’s Story Books/Children’s DVDs/Jigsaws/Audio Books/Parenting Collection (non-fiction books on parenting topics)/Junior Non-Fiction Books

Where to send books: Administration office, 6 Centenary Drive Goonellabah NSW 2480 (you can put in ‘Lismore Library – Flood Donation’)
Where to send cash:
  • Account Name Lismore City Council – RTRL Tax Deductible Gift Recipient Account
  • BSB 062-565
  • Account Number 10864916
Make sure to send an email to Amanda Binney (Management Accountant) [email protected] at the time of any donations being made with the following information:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of deposit
  • Amount of deposit
They will provide a Tax Deductible Receipt. This may take a little while to get out based on resources – but they will get them out as soon as they can.

What to donate: They are currently accepting cash donations and the following items:

  • Car Seats – New or Pre-loved
  • Prams – New or Pre-loved
  • Portacots, Cots, and Bassinets – New or Pre-loved
  • Baby Carriers – New or Pre-loved
  • Baby Food – ONLY (Can’t accept other food items)
  • Nappy Cream
  • Nappies, Wipes, and Formula
  • Toiletries

You can register as a volunteer

To donate cash, you can go here.

For more deets on their different drop-off locations and their opening hours, go here.

They’re also on IG @babygiveback.

Animal Rescue Cooperative is focused on supporting food, water treatment, pumps, and containment for Animals caught up in the huge QLD/NSW Floods.

To start donating, you can click here. They are also a tax deductive gift recipient with DGR and you will be issued a receipt.

Micah Projects Limited is still in need of your generous donations to help to continue to provide individuals and families with access to safe and affordable accommodation, utilities, food, and furniture. It will help prevent the marginalisation of the already marginalised population so they can get back on their feet with dignity and safety.

Ukraine Relief Resources:

New South Wales and Queensland SES– Community-based state emergency services provide rescue, first aid and so much more.
World Central Kitchen Organisation founded by Chef Jose’ Andres’ serving thousands of fresh meals to Ukrainian families fleeing home as well as those who remain in the country.

Mercy Corps – a global team of humanitarians working together on the front lines is on the ground in Ukraine, Romania, and Poland, providing funding to local organizations that know their community needs best and working to meet urgent humanitarian needs.

United Help Ukraine – a global team of humanitarians working together on the front lines of today’s biggest crises to create a future of possibility, where everyone can prosper.his non-profit provides essential medical supplies and humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine.
Voices of Children – This Ukrainian charity helps children recover from the psychological impacts of war
Revived Soldiers UkraineAn organisation focused on assisting injured soldiers with rehabilitation
Sunflower of PeaceA non-profit providing medical aid in Ukraine and supporting medical teams on the frontline


Enjoy the show,

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