This video’s topic is Biodegradable Cremation Urns. It is part of the video funeral series “Ask the Director”. A rough transcript of the audio portion of this video is below. You may also turn on the captioning in the video by pressing the cc. Please share this video by pressing the paper airplane in the upper right corner.

Biodegradable Urns – Cremation

Many people are very concerned about leaving as small a environmental footprint as possible. We are only passing through and on this planet for a short while. In response to this and the “green funeral” movement, biodegradable urns are gaining in popularity and seeing expanded use in the cremation industry.

These environmentally friendly urns provide families a way to memorialize a passed loved one while at the same time honoring the earth, by leaving the most minimal carbon footprint possible. 

Materials for Biodegradable Urns

Biodegradable urns are made from a variety of natural materials such as salt, bark, coconut husks, clay, various paper type products as well as other appropriate material with a “green” footprint. We have several here for display.

There are a couple of classification types of cremation urns – they can either be  earth biodegradable urns or the water biodegradable urns. The water biodegradable are also suitable for ground burial, but urn constructed for ground burial at not suitable for water burial.

California law, as of June/2012 with the passage of Bill AB1777 requires any urn containing cremated remains that is placed into the ocean, must biodegrade within 4 hours. This will exclude many soil burial type urns.

We have a variety of urns to describe to you today.

Salt Biodegradable Urn

The salt urn weights about 15 pounds and made of salt – often ” Himalayan Rock Salt “. Thought to be 250 million years old and very pure. Each urn will have a slightly different shape, finish and color due to the natural properties of the salt – mostly the varying concentration of iron and manganese. Suitable for either land or water burial.

Paper Biodegradable Urns

Paper material urns come in a large variety of colors, shapes, sizes and textures – we have 3 here. In soil they completely disintegrate within a year or less; the actual amount of time depends environment conditions. They are x-ray able to allow TSA security screeners to view the contents – critical if you are travelling with the urn

Turtle Biodegradable Urn

Turtles urns were created for the nature lover, we have both the full-size to accommodate all the cremated remains as well as baby turtles to accommodate just a portion of the remains.

A few weeks ago we had one of our families use 5 of the baby turtles. Each of the siblings had an turtle with a portion of their parents cremains. Each sibling placed their turtle in the water. It floated for a while and then sank. It was just lovely!

Seashell Biodegradable Urn

Seashell Urn – Very colorful and designed with a nautical theme in mind. It will float for several minutes ( between 5 and 20) depending on wave action.

Memento Biodegradable Urn

Memento Urn – This urn will allow the family to handwritten notes or drawings and place them within the urn. It is a great way to say goodbye. Again, it will float for a few minutes and then slowly sink beneath the waves.

Pillow Top – Similar to others

Why Use a Biodegradable Urn

There care be a few reason for using a biodegradable urn, perhaps just personal preference. We have many families that do use them. One example that comes to mind is a family with 4 siblings that were scattering their father. Each had a baby biodegradable turtle that they placed in the water. This way they each had a special part to play in the ash scattering.

No Cremains Blow-back

If you are scattering the cremains in a windy location – perhaps from a boat. The cremains which are a similar consistency to sand and can be messy if scattered directly from the container received from the mortuary. Using an urn keeps everything clean and neat.

Religious Reasons

This a primarily a Catholic concern, some Catholics require the ashes to be together when “scattered” – an urn allows this to be accomplished.

Summary Cremation Urns

Thank you for watching and if you have any please do not hesitate to contact your funeral director and please view other informative videos in our “Ask the Director” series.

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