Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to dig deeper into our process, where it is available, and the environment's impacts take a look through our frequently asked questions below.
Our brand new facility is located 4146 B Pl NW, Auburn WA 98001 and we welcome visitors. Please call us at (206) 801-6925 to make an appointment.
Return Home is a fully licensed funeral home, and we employ licensed funeral directors. In addition, our staff is rigorously trained to meet our industry-leading terramation standards.
Terramation is legal in Washington state, Colorado and Oregon. Other states including California and New York have legislation pending.
Yes. Return Home can provide terramation services to all 50 states. We can arrange this directly with you or the funeral home of your choice contact
Yes. We partner with a range of funeral industry professionals from funeral homes to death doulas.
Any of our services team can help you at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 801-6925
Terramation is the act of gently, and naturally, transforming human remains into soil.
Terramation stimulates the microbes that already exist in each of us with moisture and oxygen to naturally decompose the body.
Terramation is ruled out only in rare cases where the cause of death is a prion-related illness, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob, or a highly infectious disease, like Ebola. Additionally, bodies that have been embalmed are not able to be terramated.
Our process completely transforms a body into fertile, usable soil within 60 days. This includes 30 days in an individual vessel, and an additional 30 days for the resulting soil to cure.
The Terramation process yields about 1.5 cubic yards of soil per body – 10-15 burlap bags full. The soil is nutrient-rich and fertile – a perfect amendment to gardens.
We will return any excess soil to local land in need of revitalization to help restart the cycle of life.
You may pick up your soil directly from our facility. We can also arrange delivery for those living near our Auburn, WA facility or ship any specified amount of soil to you. Please note that separate charges apply for the shipping and delivery of soil. Return Home cannot be responsible for soil shipments once they leave our custody.
Terramated soil is exceptionally nutrient-rich and fertile. It is a perfect amendment to any natural area where you want to stimulate growth from gardens to the forest. Note that permission should be gained when placing terramated soil outside of your yard and gardens.
Return Home offers a pre-purchase plan for those who wish to make arrangements for their own death. Make arrangements and plan ahead.
Make sure to make your wishes are communicated to your family and friends, as well as included in your Will, Trust, or other related legal documents.
The cost for pre-purchasing Terramation is $4,950. Once purchased this price will never increase. The price includes the Terramation service, assistance from our service team, filing of necessary permits and certificates, refrigerated storage of the body if necessary, and return of any excess soil to local lands.
Funding of your Terramation is secured by the purchase of a whole life insurance policy issued by United Heritage Life Insurance Company.
For those that wish to participate, Return Home offers an option for a laying-in ceremony. We will work directly with you to ensure this ceremony reflects your or your loved ones unique needs and final wishes.
Yes, we are currently planning virtual laying-in ceremonies so that families can celebrate their loved ones no matter where they live.
Our natural Terramation process has low-energy needs and relies on nothing other than organic materials, moisture, and oxygen to transform a body into soil. Most of the resulting carbon created remains sequestered in the soil rather than being released into the atmosphere. Terramated soil is rich in life-giving nutrients and can be returned to the earth to help generate new life.
This is a major misconception about cremation as cremation is energy-intensive. A single cremation requires burns 30 gallons of fossil fuel and releases 500 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Annually, cremations in the U.S. alone emit 250,000 tons of CO2 into our atmosphere.
The only byproduct of terramation is nutrient-rich soil. Traditional burial requires the use of dwindling land resources and wraps a body in concrete, steel, and rebar.
Terramation does differ from a green burial. In the case of terramation, the body is gently transformed into soil which may be used however and wherever the family wishes. With a green burial, a body is naturally laid to rest in the earth but must be buried in a designated green burial cemetery.