In Depth: Alternate Endings


Hal is joined by Return Home CEO Micah Truman. Return Home is a Washington company that specializes in human composting, also known as organic reduction. It’s not yet legal in California.

Truman explains how the process works, why people would choose natural organic reduction over cremation or standard burial, and how much cleaner the process is.

He also talks about what happens to the remains after they are processed, and how the cost compares with conventional burial or cremation.


Pisces Aquamation CEO Christopher Taktak talks to Hal about the Aquamation process, which breaks down human remains through a gentle water bath mixed with natural salts.

When the process is done, relatives are left with what looks very much like ashes left from standard cremation. The Aquamation process is much cleaner than standard cremation, however, and doesn’t contribute to global warming.

Taktak talks about the people who are interested in the process and what they think of it.  


Celestis CEO Charles Chafer joins Hal to talk about the company which launches ashes, DNA or other mementos into space.

Chafer explains how this could be a much more inspirational process for family members rather than sitting in a funeral home.

He discusses the upcoming Enterprise mission that will take the remains of Nichelle Nichols and others from the original Star Trek into a deep space orbit. 

Chafer talks about the affordability of this option compared to a standard funeral.


Hal promotes his podcast and we end with a clip of a company that offers the opportunity to have one’s ashes nurturing a "family tree" in a forest.


Below is Hal's extended interview with Celestis' Charles Chafer: