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About Biodegradable Boxes
Biodegradable urns are a natural choice for the growing number of people who are looking for earth-friendly options in the products they buy. Available in a variety of shapes, styles, and colors, they are made with natural materials that will break down when buried or when exposed to water, depending on the urn.
Together with cost savings, concern for the environment is one of the reasons for the growing popularity of cremation as an alternative to traditional burial. In keeping with the spirit of “earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust" — a phrase from the centuries-old burial rite in the Book of Common Prayer — cremation is seen by many as the most ecologically sound means of disposing of bodily remains.
No wonder, then, that among people who choose cremation, biodegradable cremation urns have also become a popular choice to hold the cremated remains of their loved ones.
What Are Biodegradable Urns?
Like all cremation urns, a biodegradable urn is a container made to hold the ashes that remain following the cremation of a body. What distinguishes these containers from other types of urn is the fact that they are made from organic and recycled materials that have been harvested in a sustainable manner and made specifically to hold cremains. The following materials are often used to make biodegradable urns:
- Recycled and eco-friendly paper
- Tree bark and plant materials
- Palm leaves
- Unfired clay
- Salt blocks
Biodegradable urns for ashes are designed to break down naturally when buried or exposed to moisture rather than to withstand the elements. They contain absolutely no metal components, and the only plastic used is an EPA-approved biodegradable plastic bag, which is used as an inner lining. These urns are even sealed with an environmentally friendly glue.
Some come with an engravable plaque that may or may not be biodegradable. Non-biodegradable plaques are typically retained as a keepsake after the urn is buried. Biodegradable Eternal Embrace urn pendants are also available and can have a photo and text engraved on them; these personalized pendants can be buried directly with the urn.
For many, a biodegradable urn is simply a way to be one with nature—a logical choice in the natural circle of life.
How Are Biodegradable Urns Used?
A biodegradable urn is a good choice both for those who plan to keep the ashes of a loved one and those who want to scatter or bury the cremains. As long as they are protected from the elements, most of these urns are very durable and will last for many years. They do not begin to break down until they are buried or placed in the water, depending on the urn. Like traditional urns, they come in a variety of attractive shapes and colors, suitable for display.
While personal preference often dictates that ashes be scattered, a container is still required to carry the cremains to the location where they will be dispersed. Biodegradable scattering urns are available and made to open easily to allow the cremains to be released.
One type of biodegradable cremation urn is made especially for scattering cremains at sea. From a practical standpoint, this kind of urn will keep the ashes from blowing around on the open water. Instead, the water-soluble container is placed on the water with the ashes inside, where it floats for a few minutes before sinking gracefully among the waves.
Under the water, the biodegradable urn will slowly disintegrate within a matter of minutes, hours or days, depending on the urn, releasing the cremains into the water, where they will also biodegrade. Alternatively, the family may choose to place only the inner biodegradable bag with the cremated remains in the water, while keeping the urn for storage of personal mementos.
When personal choice or religious custom calls for cremains to be buried, on the other hand, a biodegradable cremation urn, like a biodegradable casket, will gradually decompose in the ground and return to the earth, along with the ashes.
Enter in an approximate weight of your loved one before cremation and we will tell you the size needed.
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.