2020 State Guide to Scattering Ashes - New Hampshire Edition

This forty-second edition of state-by-state guides related to scattering ashes focuses on the state of New Hampshire. This beautiful state is home to a stunning coastline, pristine mountains, impressive lakes, and quaint towns full of character and charm!

Included in this state guide is important information that provides you with answers to common questions funeral directors receive each day in New Hampshire and many other states about scattering ashes. This includes if you’re allowed to scatter in New Hampshire, where in the state can you scatter ashes, and which urn is recommended to be used for scattering.

Regulations in New Hampshire for Scattering Ashes

scatter ashes in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, there are no state laws in place that restrict storing or scattering ashes. Ashes can be placed in an urn or other container of your choosing. They can also be put in a grave, crypt, or niche. Through the cremation process, the resulting ashes are harmless to our health.

If you plan on scattering ashes, even without state laws in New Hampshire that restrict this, it’s still highly recommended to check with city or county government offices to learn if any local restrictions or regulations are in place.

Where Can You Scatter Ashes in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, there are virtually endless places where you can scatter a loved one or pet’s ashes. In addition, having a memorial service at the time of the scattering is becoming more and more common. This is a time where friends and family can join together, share memories and stories, and honor the person who passed. At these services, many families arrange to have everybody who attend participate in the scattering.

Below we highlight a few of the most common places people scatter ashes in New Hampshire.

  • Private Property – In New Hampshire, you are allowed to scatter ashes of a loved one or pet on your private property (this includes a yard, parcel of land, etc.). If you’re looking to scatter ashes on property owned by someone else, it’s always a good idea to first get their permission.
  • Scattering Gardens – A number of cemeteries, memorial parks, and churches are opening up scattering gardens in New Hampshire and many other states. These are special sections on their property where you can scatter a loved one’s ashes. A quick search on the internet can typically pull up options in your area.
  • Public Property – As mentioned above, no state laws exist in New Hampshire that restrict where you can scatter ashes. However, if you’re interested in scattering on public property, it’s a good idea to first check with city or county offices to see if any local restrictions or other regulations exist.
  • Water Burials – Even though New Hampshire only has about 18 miles of shoreline, it’s one of the most picturesque coasts in the country! Many people in New Hampshire and across the country have a unique connection to the ocean and elect to have a sea burial for their memorial. If this is of interest to you or a family member, it’s important to note that the EPA needs to be given notice within 30 days of a burial at sea and federal law requires that this occurs at least 3 nautical miles away from shore.
  • National Parks – New Hampshire is home to two of our amazing National Parks. With the beautiful scenic views that exist at many of our National Parks, such places are chosen by many as a place where they want to be memorialized. Every park has its own set of rules related to scattering, therefore, if this is of interest to you or a family member, it’s important to check with the park ranger’s office where you want to scatter to understand any restrictions and rules that may be in place.
  • Scattering by Airplane – New Hampshire has no existing state laws that prevent you from scattering ashes from an airplane. However, if this is of interest to you, it’s important to note that federal law prohibits dropping the urn or other container used to scatter as this can potentially damage property or injure people.

How to Scatter Ashes?

Over the past few years, the number of people who are choosing to be cremated (vs. buried) has significantly increased (primarily as a result of much lower cremation costs and families who are less traditional). In line with this trend, many new and uplifting urn options have been introduced, including scattering urns. The scattering urns available today make it easy for families to scatter the ashes of a loved one or pet at a special meaningful place, or another beautiful location of their choosing.

Below we describe a few of the more popular scattering urns sold by funeral homes in New Hampshire.

Water Urns

Water burials are commonly performed in New Hampshire and throughout the country. An urn of choice for water burials offered by hundreds of leading funeral homes is the Eco Water Urn. This special patent pending urn floats on top the water for a short amount of time, then the bottom dissolves and the cremated ashes are freed in the water. The Eco Water Urn is shipped to you or your funeral home in a protective cylinder casing made from bamboo, which also serves as a great way to transport the urn holding your loved one’s ashes to that special place to perform the water burial.

Eco Scattering Urn

The Eco Scattering Urn is a leading scattering urn offered by funeral homes throughout the country and is the only scattering urn made entirely from bamboo, a sustainable resource. This patented urn comes with a special mechanism for locking the urn in an open or closed position, giving you the ability to scatter with ease and control. This also gives you the ability to secure your loved one’s ashes (or pet ashes) in the urn while you travel to that special place to scatter. As it’s made from bamboo, it engraves well and for a nominal fee the company will include your loved one’s name, date of birth and death, a custom saying, and a symbol of choice on the outside of the urn. The Eco Scattering Urn is TSA compliant and starts at $49, an affordable urn option for most families.

Paper Scattering Urns

Scattering urns manufactured from paper are available online and at many funeral homes in New Hampshire and nationwide. These urns have an image or symbol printed on the outside and are typically priced less than other urns on the market. Similar to the Eco Scattering Urn, the paper scattering urns are also TSA compliant. However, these come with a few drawbacks, including that it’s not a good idea to get these wet or scatter in a weather event (as it could effect the integrity of the urn) and an added step of gluing part of the urn together is required while you’re loading the ashes.

Can You Have More Than One Memorial?

As cremation continues to rise popularity in New Hampshire and other states, numerous new urns and memorials that include a loved one’s ashes have been made available. With such a large and growing number of wonderful new options, many families are unable to decide on a single memorial for a loved one. Instead, they elect to divide up their loved one’s ashes into more than one memorial. This commonly includes some of the following options:

  • Scattering the ashes at a meaningful location or other beautiful place (or multiple places)
  • Planting a bio urn with their ashes to grow a living memory tree
  • Placing their ashes in an indoor planter urn and grow a houseplant or bonsai tree memorial
  • Incorporating their ashes in a beautiful stone or one or more pieces of jewelry
  • Including their ashes in a colorful glass tabletop decoration