Fiscal Sponsee - Life After Life

Life After Life

Micah Truman is spearheading a groundbreaking venture, Return Home, the world’s first large scale human composting company. This environmentally conscious business aims to disrupt the funeral industry by offering a greener approach to death.

The funeral industry, rooted in embalming practices dating back to the Civil War, has become a $20 billion behemoth. Annual pollution from traditional practices includes 750,000 gallons of embalming fluids, 1.5 million tons of concrete, 1 million tons of steel, and 30 million board feet of treated wood. Even cremation, often considered a “green” option, emits 360,000 metric tons of carbon annually, contributing to air pollution.

Based on the concept and initial groundwork laid by Katrina Spade, an architect and designer, she envisioned an alternative inspired by the composting of animal remains by farmers. Collaborating with scientists at Washington State University, Katrina developed NOR from the ground up. Micah Truman, a finance professional and funeral industry outsider, was captivated by the concept. Return Home, opened in May 2021, represents his ambitious effort to make NOR a scalable reality. But this is a new process and has basically never been done before. How will this change our perspective on death? How will our rituals adapt? And importantly – what does grieving look like over this longer time period?

As NOR gains traction, the narrative shifts from death to life. The stories we seek to highlight are not just about death but about embracing life and death in a manner that acknowledges our symbiotic relationship with the Earth. This endeavor is a journey of attempting to reconcile with mortality while leaving a positive environmental legacy.

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