More people in the U.S. chose cremation instead of burial in 2015 (the first time ever), and over seventy percent of people are expected to choose cremation by 2030…New uplifting options are coming available that cater exclusively to people who are part of this cremation trend!
We have endless options when buying a house, shopping for clothes, choosing a cell phone, and even multiple choices when deciding on the type of milk we want to buy at the local grocery store. However, when it comes to cremations, options at funeral homes have historically been limited as the focus has traditionally been on burials.
This is quickly changing in the U.S., as the funeral industry is recognizing the shift and is now catering to the surge in cremations. This surge is being driven by the affordability of cremations versus burials, less discretionary income, and a greater amount of people who consider themselves less “traditional”.
Along with this jump in cremations, funeral homes are adopting new and uplifting eco-friendly memorial options for their cremation clients. You may be wondering, what kind of memorial options exist? Are they practical and do they actually work as described?
One option that’s quickly gaining in popularity is The Living Urn, a bio urn and planting system that allows a family to grow a memorial tree, plant or flowers from their loved one’s cremated remains. This product is affordable and the final price depends on if you want it to come with a tree or not, and the type of tree selected. Unlike other bio urns on the market, The Living Urn is an all-in-one system that comes with everything needed to grow a memory tree, plant, or flowers from your loved ones cremated remains. This system was designed to be used with baby trees (not seeds, which are difficult to grow into a tree) and they work with the Arbor Day Foundation as their exclusive tree seedling provider. The Living Urn also overcomes the issue of the cremains causing the soil environment to be unfavorable for plant growth with a proprietary additive they developed called RootProtect™ that comes with every purchase. In addition, they’re based in Denver and have customer service here in the U.S. (a huge plus!). For people who love this idea but don’t expect to pass away anytime soon, the folks at The Living Urn also recently introduced a pre-planning version that allows people to plan their memorial ahead of time and pay for everything up-front so it’s not a financial burden or stress on their family after they pass.
If growing a tree isn’t of interest, there are also a number of eco-friendly scattering urns available that are made of alternative materials such as bamboo, recycled wood, papier-mache, and others. These scattering urns give families the ability to easily spread a loved ones ashes at their favorite place – the ocean, lake, mountains, park, golf course, etc. (of course, with permission). A new scattering urn, in particular, that is gaining in popularity is called Eco-Scattering, an innovative line of environmentally friendly bamboo scattering urns that have a sleek design and are all natural. They have a unique open and closing mechanism on top that allows you to transport the cremated remains with ease then open to scatter at the place of your choosing. These are affordable and come in four sizes. Also, as an added plus, because it’s made entirely from bamboo, a sustainable biodegradable resource, this scattering urn can simply be disposed of in the ocean, forest, etc. when you’re done using.
Another, relatively new option is to have your cremated remains be included as part of a new artificial reef in the ocean. There are multiple services that do this and each of them offer ceremonies around the reef memorial where families can go out on a boat to the place where the artificial reef is being developed and view their loved one’s part of the reef containing their ashes being lowered into the ocean. The cost for this service is in the thousands of dollars, however, if you can afford it, it’s an interesting and intriguing option for ocean lovers and still cheaper than a full service burial at most cemeteries.
All of these cremation memorial options mentioned above are eco-friendly and continue to gain in popularity in the U.S. As the baby boomers age, many of them don’t want to be simply “stuck” on the mantle, but instead, they want to do something memorable.