This forty-ninth edition of state-by-state guides to scattering ashes focuses on the state of Rhode Island. This unique state is home to a stunning coastline, amazing sunsets, beautiful landscapes, and thriving cities.
As a leading provider of eco-friendly urns and memorials, we receive many questions from families about rules that exist for scattering a loved one or pet’s ashes in a yard, on other private property, in parks, near hiking trails, and in the ocean, among many other places. In this state guide, we provide key information related to storing and scattering ashes in the state of Rhode Island.
Rules for Scattering Ashes in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, no state laws exist that prohibit where you’re able to store or scatter the cremated ashes of a person or pet. Ashes can be held in a crypt, grave, urn, or other container of your choosing. If you are interested in scattering ashes of a loved one, there are almost endless wonderful places in Rhode Island where you can do this.
Also, it’s important to point out that the resulting ashes from cremation are harmless and do not pose any health risks.
Places to Scatter Ashes in Rhode Island
Many people elect to scatter ashes of a loved one at a special meaningful place, in their yard at home, or at another beautiful location. A growing number of people also choose to have a service at the scattering event. This can happen before, during, or after the scattering occurs and can be a wonderful time to gather family and friends and remember the loved one who passed.
Below we provide information on some of the most popular places in Rhode Island where families choose to scatter ashes:
- At Sea – with Rhode Island’s stunning coastline, scattering ashes at sea is a common memorial option chosen by people throughout the state. If a scattering at sea, or sea burial, is of interest to you, a quick internet search can typically find one or more options in your area. Also, it’s important to note that U.S. federal law requires that cremated ashes are scattered at least three nautical miles from land and the U.S. EPA needs to be given notice within thirty days of a scattering at sea occurring.
- A Yard or Other Private Property – in Rhode Island, along with most other states, you’re allowed to scatter ashes in your yard or other private property you own. You can also scatter ashes on private property owned by somebody else with their permission.
- Scattering Gardens – a number of cemeteries and churches in Rhode Island are opening up scattering gardens, which are special sections on their property that have been designated as areas where people can scatter ashes. If this is something of interest to you, a quick internet search can typically find one or more options in your area.
- Public Land – Rhode Island has many beautiful places where people choose to scatter their loved one’s ashes. Even without state-wide restrictions, if you’re interested in scattering on public land, it’s recommended to reach out to city or county offices in the area to find out if any local restrictions or regulations are in place.
- National Parks – National Parks are popular places where families across the country are interested in scattering ashes. Each National Park has its own set of rules and regulations related to scattering, so it’s best to check with the park ranger’s office at the National Park where you’re interested in scattering to find out if it’s permitted there and what rules may be in place.
- By Air – like most other states, there are no state laws in Rhode Island that restrict scattering ashes from an airplane. However, be sure that the urn used to scatter is held onto - federal aviation law prohibits dropping any objects from the sky that can potentially injure people or damage property.
What Do You Use to Scatter Ashes?
With the growing number of people choosing cremation over burial (mainly due to a much lower cremation cost and families that aren’t as traditional as before) and a growing interest in scattering cremated ashes, new urns and memorial options have been introduced that are designed to scatter ashes. Some of the more commonly used ‘scattering urns’ are highlighted below:
Eco Water Urn
With its stunning coastline, Rhode Island is a state where many of its residents choose to be scattered at sea. The patent pending Eco Water Urn is a leading urn designed to scatter ashes in water and it is available online and at many funeral homes throughout the country. This proprietary biodegradable urn floats upright on the water (similar to a buoy), until the bottom of the urn breaks open and the ashes are freed into the water. The Eco Water Urn comes in a protective bamboo casing, which provides a great way to protect the urn holding a loved one’s ashes as you travel to that special place on the water for the scattering.
Eco Scattering Urn
The patented Eco Scattering Urn is constructed from bamboo, a fast-growing resource and one of the strongest building materials available. This attractive eco-friendly scattering urn is available online and at thousands of funeral homes throughout the country. It comes with a unique locking mechanism that enables you to scatter with ease and control and also helps you secure the ashes in the urn while traveling to that special place, or places, to scatter. The Eco Scattering Urn can also be engraved with your loved one’s name, date of birth and death, a saying, and a symbol of choice. Starting at $49, it’s an affordable option for many people.
Scattering Urns Manufactured from Paper
There are a number of scattering urns available online and at local funeral homes that are manufactured from paper. These typically have a nature scene printed on the outside, are easy to use, and are affordable. However, the paper urns do come with some drawbacks. This includes is that it is not recommended to get the urn wet (and avoid scattering in the rain or snow) as that can effect the integrity of the urn. In addition, part of the urn needs to be glued together after loading the ashes.
More Than One Memorial
With the increase in the amount of people choosing cremation and then having their ashes scattered, a number of new urns and memorials have recently been introduced. With so many new options, many people choose to have more than one memorial to honor a loved one. This commonly includes scattering some of the ashes at a meaningful place or places, then including the additional ashes in a Living Urn bio urn to grow a tree memorial, in a beautiful piece of jewelry or a stone, or in a glass tabletop piece that can be kept in the home, among many other options.