This forty-fourth edition of state guides to scattering ashes is focused on the state of Mississippi. This unique state is home to beautiful lakes and rivers, stunning red clay hills, lush pine forests, and impressive bayous.
In this state guide, we include important information to help answer common questions many people have in Mississippi and elsewhere related to scattering ashes. This includes if whether or not scattering is allowed in Mississippi, where in Mississippi ashes can be scattered, and what type of urn is recommended to scatter ashes.
Regulations in Mississippi for Scattering and Storing Ashes
In Mississippi, no state laws are in place that restrict where you can scatter or store ashes. Cremated ashes can be held in an urn, crypt, grave, or niche. The process of cremation makes the ashes harmless and they do not pose any health risks.
If you or your family plans to scatter ashes, and even with no state laws restricting this in Mississippi, it is always a good idea to reach out to local city or county government offices to understand if any zoning or other regulations exist at a local level in your area.
Where Can You Scatter Ashes in Mississippi?
Many people in Mississippi and elsewhere throughout the country choose to scatter a loved one or pet’s ashes at a special place that has meaning to them or their family. In Mississippi, there are a lot of beautiful places where families commonly scatter. Below we highlight some of the more popular ones.
- Yard or other Private Property – Similar to most other states, Mississippi does not have any existing laws that prevent people from scattering ashes in their yard or on other property they own. If your preference is to scatter your loved one’s ashes on property owned by another person or business, you should ask for their permission in writing first.
- Public Property – There are many public locations where people frequently scatter ashes in Mississippi. Even with no state-wide laws that restrict scattering on public property, if this is something of interest, it’s recommended to reach out to county or city government offices to find out if there may be any existing local restrictions or rules.
- Scattering Gardens – Many traditional cemeteries and churches in Mississippi are catering to the growing interest in cremation by opening up scattering gardens. These are designated areas on their property where people are permitted to scatter a loved one’s cremated ashes. If this is of interest to you, reach out to your local church or funeral home, or do a quick internet search to find one in your area.
- National Parks – Mississippi is home to 8 of our National Parks that attract nearly 8 million people each year. With the stunning beauty and amazing landscapes existing in many of our National Parks, these are popular places where people are interested in scattering a loved one’s ashes. Every National Park has its own set of regulations covering scattering, so it’s recommended to contact the park ranger’s office where you prefer to scatter to find out if it’s allowed there and what regulations may be in place.
- Water Burial – Many families in Mississippi and throughout the U.S. are interested in performing a water burial for a loved one. If you or your family are interested in this, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that the U.S. EPA requires that they’re notified within thirty days of a water burial occurring and the Federal Clean Water Act requires that a burial at sea is done at least 3 nautical miles from shore.
- Aerial Scattering – No state laws exist in Mississippi that restrict families from scattering a loved one’s cremated ashes from an airplane. If this is something you’re interested in, it’s important to know that you need to make sure that the urn or other container used to scatter is held onto and not dropped with the ashes. The ashes are okay to be scattered from a plane, however, federal aviation law prohibits dropping any objects from the sky that can cause potential harm to people or property.
How to Scatter Ashes?
Mississippi has historically had one of the lowest cremation rates in the country, with most people choosing burial. However, this is changing and more and more people in Mississippi are now choosing to be cremated (mainly due to lower cremation costs and families that are less traditional than before). With this shift, a number of new and uplifting urn options have recently been introduced to cater to this new demand. This includes urns that are designed for scattering ashes - below we highlight a few of the most commonly used scattering urns.
Eco Scattering Urns
The Eco Scattering Urn is a highly unique urn that’s made entirely from bamboo, an extremely fast growing plant that is considered a sustainable resource. This patented urn is a leading way people scatter ashes throughout the U.S. and is offered online and by thousands of funeral homes. It has a unique locking mechanism on top of the urn that helps families scatter with control and ease and also secures the ashes in place and helps avoid having the ashes from spill out while traveling to that special place (or places) to scatter. The Eco Scattering Urn starts at $49, which makes it an affordable option for many families.
Paper Scattering Urns
There are a number of scattering urns available that are manufactured from paper. These paper urns come with a beautiful design printed on the urn and are available in multiple sizes. These are usually offered at a lower price point, however come with a few drawbacks. This includes that it isn’t recommended to get them wet so avoid scattering in the rain or snow (as the urn can lose its integrity); and there is an additional step that’s required where you need to glue part of the urn together while loading it with ashes.
Urns for Water Burials
Many people in the U.S. have a special connection to the water. With this, water burials, or burials at sea, that memorialize people in the water are becoming more and more common. The patent pending Eco Water Urn is a relatively new offering that has quickly become one of the leading urns used by families to perform water burials. This special urn floats upright in the water for up to a few minutes, until the bottom breaks apart and the ashes are released into the water. The Eco Water Urn has highly unique bamboo packaging, serves as a protective cover that gives families the ability to securely transport the urn to that special place on the water to scatter. This packaging can also be engraved with your loved one’s name, their date of birth and date of passing, a saying, and a symbol – all for a reasonable cost.
More Than One Memorial?
As more and more people continue to choose to be cremated instead of buried in Mississippi along with other states, a number of new memorial alternatives have recently been introduced. With so many new options available, many people are finding it to be difficult to choose a single memorial to honor a loved one, and instead, are deciding to separate the ashes into multiple memorials. Some of the common memorial options that people choose include:
- Scattering ashes at one or more special locations;
- Including ashes in a The Living Urn bio urn and planting system to grow a tree memorial;
- Including ashes in an indoor planter urn and have a houseplant or bonsai tree memorial;
- Incorporating ashes into a beautiful stone or piece of jewelry; or
- Including the ashes in a glass tabletop decoration that displays an array of color, among other options