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What is a Cremation Urn?

What is a Cremation Urn?

A cremation urn is simply a container that holds cremated remains. Most are made out of wood, ceramic, metal, or plastic. When a funeral home provides you with your loved one’s ashes and if you don’t purchase an urn beforehand, the cremated remains will typically be returned in an inexpensive bag, wood urn, or a metal container. Most families choose not to keep their loved one in the standard urn offered by the funeral home, but instead, select or purchase a more unique urn option from the funeral home or online.

With the increase in the number of people choosing cremation over burial, the thought of keeping a loved one on the mantle is not as common as it used to be.  Many are opting for much more creative ways to memorialize their loved one with urns that truly represent the deceased. 

One option is The Living Urn®, a bio urn system that gives families everything they need to grow a memory tree, plant, or flowers from a loved one’s cremated remains. This includes their proprietary biodegradable BioUrn®, RootProtect™, a special additive that counters certain properties in ash to make the growing environment more suitable for a tree, a premium growth mix, aged wood chips, and is packaged in a sleek bamboo container. Simply place your loved one’s ashes at the bottom of the urn, pour the additives on top, then plant. Also, this system was designed to be used with actual tree seedlings (baby trees), and not seeds, which is great for the majority of people who don’t have a green thumb or don’t have experience growing trees from seeds, which can be challenging. Families can choose the type of tree based on their zip code, and all of the tree seedlings provided to U.S. customers come from the Arbor Day Foundation, the leading non-profit dedicated to planting trees with over a million members, partners and affiliates. The Living Urn® is a Denver based company with a highly responsive customer service team and in-house arborists available to answer any questions.

Another option is a decorative urn. Many families are opting for this as it allows them to keep their loved one’s remains inside their home and in an artistic piece that adds to the décor of the home. With the rise in cremation (mainly due to the cost of cremation, among other reasons), there are many artists joining this movement and developing urns made of glass, ceramic, or even plastic designed to look like something that represents the loved one who passed. A simple online search can result in thousands of decorative urn options.

A third option is a scattering urn. These are typically made of either paper or wood and give families the ability to take a loved one’s ashes to a favorite place (a lake, mountain, beach, ocean, park, etc.) and scatter the remains outdoors. One scattering urn, in particular, that’s gaining a lot of attention is called Eco Scattering™. It’s an attractive, all-natural tube made of bamboo, that was introduced at the National Funeral Director’s Association annual convention back in October and received a significant amount of interest. The Eco Scattering™ urn has a unique, patent-pending open and close mechanism on top that allows you to take a loved one’s remains with you to a favorite spot without the risk of having the ash spill out. In addition, the urn is well constructed and will not tear apart when it gets wet from rain or snow, a common issue with the scattering urns made out of paper or cardboard.

Unfortunately, death is inevitable and if you’re facing the loss of a family member and are trying to figure out what urn to buy, do your research as there are a lot of options on the market. It really comes down to how your loved one wanted to be remembered and to get an urn that’s fitting for the person he or she was.

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