The Future of Green Burials: Cremation and the Bios Urn

Bios Urn - Lime GreenThere are many beautiful urns, but the most beautiful may be a tree.
(Photo by by Chris Burke)

I went to my first funeral at nine years of age. I remember seeing my grandfather laid out in a casket in a viewing area, and I remember everyone standing around commenting on how he looked, very matter-of-factly, while my grandmother wrung her hands. Perhaps it was this child’s eye view that made me say, “No. No, never, me. That’s not going to be me.”

At an early age, I asked questions about why people did this. Wasn’t there an alternative? Couldn’t we all be buried more naturally?

In my teens, I learned about cremation, and although the thought of fire was not all that attractive, the thought of having my ashes buried in a beautiful setting with a tree planted on top of me as a memorial seemed almost romantic. I carried that image with me throughout my life, and even informed my children of my desires. I asked for cremation in my last Will and testament. It seems like a less morbid way to go, just my opinion.

More recently, many have started to look at the space we use up on our planet for cemeteries, and all the damaging chemicals we use to embalm with. It doesn’t make sense that we do such un-natural things when death is a natural progression of life. By using chemical preservatives, it seems to me as though we are fighting a process that should be allowed to ecologically go its own way. The new way of looking at what we leave behind has developed a whole new marketplace for green funerals.

Innovative companies are beginning to see the sense and interest in ideas to handle our departed in more sensitive and reasonable ways. The Bios Urn is one of the first products to actually grow on the picture I have always had in my mind.

The Bios Urn is a biodegradable urn that has seeds planted in the top. The design allows for a tree to grow on top of a person’s ashes – the ashes fill a lower chamber, which is separate from the top, where the seeds are. The container comes with the seeds you choose from beech, ash, oak, maple, gingko, or pine, but can also include your own seeds if you prefer. The person who performs the burial can mix the seeds with some of the soil from where the Bio Urn will be planted, then place the seed and soil mixture into the top chamber. The urn is competitively priced, and can also be used for pets or with ashes you currently have in another container.

The Bio Urn option fits my philosophy of a green funeral beautifully. Now, it is easier to accomplish. Maybe soon, we will see memorial parks with lines of trees instead of headstones. Those types of memorial parks would be places where we know people cared about making sure they leave something behind for others to enjoy. Green funerals and green cremation make so much sense for a planet with limited resources.

Have you thought about what sort of burial you would like? Are you interested in green funerals and alternative memorials? Tell us! Everlasting Footprint is interested in hearing your stories about life, death, and how you remember your loved ones. Leave us a comment below or join EF to create Footprints to remember and celebrate your loved ones’ lives.

About Cindy Readnower

Cindy Readnower, MBA, specializes in sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship. An award-winning certified Life Coach, business consultant, and publisher at Skinny Leopard Media, she helps writers produce and promote their books. She is a newspaper columnist, author of "Inherited Secrets," and a blogger.

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