The Definition of Biodegradable Urns Includes Creative & Cool

by Jerri Haaven

Divine Lotus Biodegradable Urn


“My mom joined the Marines in 1944. Her wish was to have her ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean. She lived [to be] almost 94 years old. The Sea Turtle Urn was perfect. It floated for a couple minutes before sinking, followed by a few schools of porpoises leaping about, Pelicans flying a foot off the water, and a happy Sea Lion swimming on her side, just like Mom. The urn was perfect for these special moments.”
Amy B. (OneWorld Memorials’ customer)


Wow, I thought when I read Amy's comment, that's cool. Amy recently selected the Sea Turtle Biodegradable Urn to honor her mom’s wishes. Her remarks provide a vision of her mom’s final journey in the Pacific Ocean’s blue waters. Even more significant is that her daughter is at peace with the choice of a biodegradable urn for water burial that supported her mom’s wishes.

The definition of a biodegradable urn is a cremation urn that is organic, capable of decomposing naturally, and is considered safe for the environment. The production of a biodegradable urn employs eco-friendly substances.

We believe that biodegradable urns aren't only environmentally friendly. They can also be cool - as in a creative design. But what good is cool if there's no interest. We've found the demand is on the rise for these specialized urns made to decompose in the earth or water. 

Biodegradable urn materials that are kind to Mother Earth

Cremation leaves less of a carbon footprint than traditional burial. And thanks to forward-thinking entrepreneurs who are sensitive to the environment, great strides have been made in designing creative cremation products. There is a surprising array of designs that use various, unexpected substances.

In addition to the above-mentioned Sea Turtle, below we’ve highlighted four biodegradable urns that are eco-friendly and feature cool designs.

Wool. Did you know wool is biodegradable? Wool, like human hair, is made from a protein called keratin, and is biodegradable. That’s good news for landfills, where old wool products like coats, hats and mittens end up.

Imagine the comfort of being wrapped in a wool blanket on a cold winter day. Cozy and warm, you feel snuggled in. Now extend that image of comfort to a loved one’s ashes being safe and warm in a wool biodegradable urn. But because of wool’s breathable nature, it also keeps things cool, and prevents mold and mildew. It is suitable as an unorthodox display urn, as well – maybe for someone who loved cold-weather sports and afternoons by the wood stove. Wool is an entirely sustainable product that produces no harm to animals or the Earth.

Recycled Paper. Family and friends usually relish a chance to say farewell in a very personal way. Memorial events often don’t allow for individual expression. The uniquely shaped White Memento Biodegradable Cremation Urn is created with recycled paper and finished with non-toxic milk paint. 20 biodegradable cards are included to invite handwritten notes - a private memory or maybe a hilarious story of the one who died. The notes can then be slipped into the urn to reside with a loved one’s ashes. Or, draw an image that says it better. The outside of the urn can be illustrated or written upon with a permanent marker. Biodegradable urns for sea burial, like this one, descend below the water line and release its precious contents.

Spring peepers. Frogs. Night crickets chirping. A chorus reverberating with life and celebration. A lily pad seems to summon memories of these familiar sounds reminiscent of warm seasons, long days filled with sun and scents from wildflowers and gardens. The Divine Lotus Biodegradable Cremation Urn has a presence that evokes the serene sensuality of water and its many sounds. A lotus flower adorns the top of the urn. A loved one’s ashes can rest securely inside. When placed in water, it will float briefly before it submerges and dissolves.

Mulberry Tree Bark. This delicate urn for two is one of my favorite designs. The Floral Unity biodegradable companion urn has two separate compartments that form one heart – symbolic of two lives sharing a journey. Biodegradable companion urns provide a way for two sets of ashes to be placed in one urn but stored separately - whether they be the ashes of a couple, or of a pet parent and its pet, or a parent and child. There are many stories of couples who die within hours of one another. A broken heart is the reason often given. For two who have journeyed as one, this urn provides a lovely way to hold the ashes. Because the urn has two sections, if one person precedes the other, one section can be filled independently of the other without disrupting the graceful design. This urn is made from mulberry tree bark.

There's keen interest to move toward products that are environmentally friendly. The reasons are obvious. It’s estimated that more than 800,000 gallons of formaldehyde are put into the ground with bodies in the US every year. Add 30 million board feet of hardwoods, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze, 104,272 tons of steel, and 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete, and the toll on the environment becomes evident.

Not only do I support eco-friendly products, I like the idea of swimming with dolphins as a final journey thanks to the sea turtle urn. Whatever your needs and tastes, each biodegradable urn is imbued with the sensibility that Mother Earth is precious and we are her guardians. The cool and creative designs allow a choice that will uniquely honor and respect a loved one.

Jerri Haaven is a freelance writer. While caring for her dad, who suffered from dementia and COPD, Jerri struggled with the negative side effects of his illness. She developed positive outlets to express herself and recover from her loss. Today Jerri sits on the Board of Directors for Opus Peace and provides communications consulting. Opus Peace helps people reconcile their Soul Injury, caused by unmourned loss and unforgiven guilt.


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