Are Biodegradable Urns an Option?

biodegradable urns

Some families face a tough decision after the passing of a loved one, should they have a traditional burial or opt for a cremation? When choosing cremation, more decisions need to be made. One of those decisions is picking the right cremation urn for your loved one.

Cremation urns can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. But just as green burials are gaining popularity, so are biodegradable urns. These are both ways of disposing human remains that will not damage the environment as much as other means or methods.

With a biodegradable urn, biodegradable means these materials can break down on their own without leaving behind harmful toxins. This option may interest those that closely monitor their carbon footprint, therefore the environmental nature of their final rest matters. 

Materials used to make biodegradable urns can vary, but they do need to be made from something that can break down easily. Styrofoam, for instance, will not break down easily. Instead, biodegradable urns can be made of paper, cardboard, wood fibers, sand, or dissolvable materials like salt.

Each of these materials will vary on how long it will take to break down. Paper will take about 2-6 weeks, whereas wood can last either a few days or a few years. Sand and salt can last when stored in a dry place, but will dissolve when put in water.

These biodegradable urns will break down over time, but what about the cremated remains? The cremated “ashes” are not ashes, but extremely small portions of bone. Those ashes are just the mineral calcium phosphate and are like tiny rocks. Bones by definition are not biodegradable, but nor are they harmful to the environment. 

Some choices can be harder than others, but do not be afraid to ask questions or talk about your options. Your loved one might already know his or her final wishes, and choosing the right urn, biodegradable or not, could be on that list.

Whether you wish to take the time and set up affordable cremation services now or at the time of death, Simply Cremation & Funeral Care is available to assist you. Our mission is to offer excellence in our service while providing the compassion, sincerity & understanding needed by families we serve.