As the global population becomes more environmentally focused, “green” funerals are on the rise. Not just for humans, but for pets as well. Today there are more than 160 million U.S. households owning pets* and each year over 9 million of these dog and cat pets pass away**. Many pet owners are seeking alternative and environmentally friendly ways to honor and commemorate their pets after passing.
In line with this trend is a unique new alternative called The Living Urn™. It’s a patent pending biodegradable urn and planting system that allows for a healthy and vibrant “memory tree” to grow from a pet’s cremated remains so pet owners can keep their beloved pets present in their lives after they pass away. The developers of this product worked for years with leading U.S. arborists and soil scientists to develop and perfect a system that makes it easy to successfully grow a tree from cremated remains by incorporating a seedling, or a baby tree, as opposed to a seed which can pose a number of significant challenges to a novice tree grower. As Mike Walas, one of The Living Urn’s founders explains, “we spent a long time in development to come out with a system that avoids the limitations of other products on the market and actually makes it easy to successfully grow a healthy tree from cremated remains – we feel very strongly about this, especially because it involves the remains of a beloved member of the family”. This unique product was invented by Biolife, LLC based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, and only uses all natural, biodegradable components. As an all-in-one system, it comes with everything that’s needed to grow a healthy memory tree from cremated remains.
So what is included? With each Living Urn™, a customer receives a handmade biodegradable urn made from recycled plant materials and cellulose. The eco-friendly production process of the urn only involves wetting and drying with pressure – no gluing, no chemicals, no machinery – resulting in a very small carbon footprint. Also included is a proprietary ash neutralizing agent that offsets elevated pH and sodium levels in the soil caused by the cremated remains that would otherwise make the soil environment less hospitable for tree growth. The system also contains a premium soil growth mix to provide necessary nutrients to the tree or plant, aged wood chips to help the soil retain moisture and a natural handmade bamboo outer container. In addition, the customer will receive a premium tree seedling of choice, delivered to their doorstep and ready to plant in their urn.
All Living Urn™ seedlings are provided by the Arbor Day Foundation, the largest non-profit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over a million members, supporters and valued partners. Walas comments on how the Living Urn is unique, “other urns on the market only provide part of the solution. We went the extra mile to ensure our customers have everything they need to successfully grow a tree, plant or flowers from their beloved pet’s cremated remains. This includes special additives as well as providing a premium seedling instead of just a seed, as successfully growing a tree from a seed can be difficult and challenging. In addition, our urn is designed so that all of your pet’s cremated remains can be included whereas others only allow you to use a portion of the ash or purchase multiple products.”
How does it work? The Living Urn™ comes with easy to follow step-by-step instructions. Just select a premium seedling of your choice from a wide range of options at the time of purchase and it will be delivered to your doorstep along with your urn and planting components. Next, place your pet’s cremated remains in the urn and add the proprietary ash neutralizing agent followed by the premium growth mix. Simply place your seedling in the urn and plant it in the ground. A beautiful memory tree or plant will then grow from the urn and the cremated remains keeping your beloved pet’s memory present in your life.
The Living Urn™ is an environmentally friendly and affordable alternative to the traditional burial. The pet version of The Living Urn™ is available online at www.TheLivingUrn.com and will soon be coming to a pet cemetery, crematorium, or veterinary office near you. A human version of The Living Urn™ is expected to hit the market in November – stay tuned!
*The Humane Society of the United States