Scattering Cremation Urns

Learn about Scattering Cremation Urns

If your loved one has requested that his or her ashes be scattered after death, itís important to understand this process and to choose an urn that makes it easier. Most traditional urns are specifically made to seal the cremains inside, protecting them from being disturbed. Scattering urns are designed to open easily so that the ashes can be released. You can then recycle the urn or keep it to hold keepsakes or flowers.

Types of Scattering Urn

One of the most common and simple types of scattering urns is the tube urn. This is a two-piece urn, with an inner container that holds the ashes and a printed outer tube to seal and decorate the urn. Once the cremains are added to the inner tube, the outer piece slides into place over it, and a lid covers the top. When youíre ready to release the ashes, you can remove the lid and press in a perforated tab.

This type of scattering urn is usually TSA-compliant, which means that it can be carried in the cabin of an airplane in the United States. Many urns are also made of eco-friendly, recycled materials and can be recycled or composted after the ashes have been released. Although these urns often cannot be engraved directly, you can add an urn pendant that includes a photo, name, and dates.

For water burials, you may prefer to choose a biodegradable urn thatís designed to dissolve in the water. While not identical to scattering urns, water urns are made to slowly descend into the water and break down naturally, releasing the cremains.

Rules for Scattering Ashes

If you plan to use a scattering urn to release the ashes of your loved one, itís important to know that there are laws and regulations that you should follow. These laws are not always strictly enforced, however, as long as youíre courteous to others. Donít release the ashes in a location where you might disturb others, or where the cremains could be noticed. Your city or town may have its own laws, but here are a few general guidelines to keep in mind.

Burial at Sea

In the U.S., it is legal to scatter ashes at sea as long as you are at least 3 miles from land, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Only biodegradable objects are permitted to be placed in the ocean. You are also required to report the scattering to your local EPA regional administrator. Many states do not allow ashes to be scattered on beaches, although you may be able to place them in the water a short distance from shore.

If you wish to scatter the cremains in a lake or pond, you will need a permit from your state.

Public Parks and Lands

Scattering ashes is allowed in some national parks, although you may need to get permission before doing so. Youíll also need to make sure that the cremains are finely pulverized and released away from developed areas. If you wish to release the ashes in a city or state park, itís best to contact your local authorities to find out what is permitted.

Private Property

It is legal to scatter ashes on private land, as long as you are the owner or have permission from the owner. Locations like theme parks and sports stadiums usually do not allow ashes to be scattered there. You may want to consider a local scattering garden, which is a portion of a cemetery thatís set aside specifically for ashes to be scattered.

Tips for Scattering Ashes

Scattering urns are made to gently release ashes, but here are a few tips that can make the experience a better one:

  1. Test the wind direction. When releasing cremains into the air, you want the ashes to be carried away from you, not to blow back.
  2. Consider placing the ashes on the ground. Itís common to bury cremains in a shallow trench or rake them into the soil.
  3. Stay away from roads and walkways. Never leave cremains in a location where they might disturb others. Cremains are often coarse, and they can be conspicuous.
  4. For beach scatterings, consider the tides. Like with wind, you want the ashes to be carried out to sea, not washing up on shore.
Cremation Urn Finder
Sunflower Fields Eco-Friendly Scattering Tube Sunflower Fields Eco-Friendly Scattering Tube $69.99

This product is available in a size of 200 cubic inches.

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How to select the right size urn

Enter in an approximate weight of your loved one before cremation and we will tell you the size needed.

Choosing the right size urn

Try finding an urn with our easy cremation urn finder.

Choosing the right size urn is easy. For every one pound before cremation you will need 1 cubic inch of volume. For example, a loved one weighing 200 pounds will need an urn that is at least 200 cubic inches or larger. Choosing an urn larger then you need is OK.