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From Costly to Eco-Friendly: What to Do with Your Empty Urn After Choosing a Biodegradable Option

The decision of what to do with cremated ashes is a personal one and can vary greatly depending on individual preferences and beliefs. Some people may have a specific plan in mind for their cremated remains, while others may leave it up to their loved ones to make the decision.

Funeral home directors understand that the death of a loved one can be an emotional and difficult time for families. As a result, they may try to sell expensive urns by appealing to families' emotional connection with their loved ones, emphasizing the quality of the materials used, the uniqueness of the design, or the perceived value of a more elaborate urn. They may also use language that emphasizes the importance of selecting the perfect urn to honor the memory of the deceased.

Additionally, some funeral home directors may use the time constraints of funeral planning as a way to push families towards more expensive options. Families may feel pressure to make quick decisions and may be more likely to choose the first option presented to them, even if it is more expensive. While it is important for families to choose an urn that honors the memory of their loved one, funeral home directors should be and must be transparent about the costs associated with different options under the 'Funeral Rule' and should respect families' budgets and preferences. Families should also feel empowered to ask questions, compare prices, and make decisions that feel right for them.

A quick note about the Funeral Rule: The Funeral Rule is a federal regulation that requires funeral homes to provide consumers with itemized price lists and other important disclosures about funeral goods and services. This rule is intended to empower consumers to make informed decisions and protect them from unfair or deceptive practices in the funeral industry. Under the Funeral Rule, funeral homes must provide price information over the phone or in person, and must not require consumers to purchase a casket or urn from them, among other provisions. Outside sources, such as online retailers, which may offer more affordable options.

Beer Growler Urn — The deceased was a member of a home brewers club

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards alternative options for cremated remains, such as scattering ashes in a special location, incorporating ashes into jewelry or otherkeepsakes, or choosing a biodegradable urn for a natural burial. However, traditional options such as placing the ashes in an urn for display or interment in a cemetery or columbarium are still common.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual or their loved ones to decide what to do with cremated ashes. It may be helpful to discuss this decision with family members or a funeral director to explore the various options and find the best fit for the individual's wishes and values. And of course, always feel free to reach out to us here at because we are on the leading edge of new options and alternatives, especially when it comes to sustainability.

An urn is a container used to hold the cremated remains of a person or pet. Urns come in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes, and can be customized to reflect the individual's personality, hobbies, or interests. They can be made from materials such as wood, metal, ceramic, glass, or biodegradable materials. And Urns can be used for a variety of purposes, including traditional burials, scattering of ashes, or placement in a columbarium or other memorial structure.

Nissan GTR Car Urn — The deceased had raised money for resarch for his rare HLLRC kidney cancer

The cost of an urn from a funeral home can vary greatly depending on the materials used, the size, and the level of customization. On average, basic urns made of materials such as metal, wood, or ceramic can range from $70 to $500. However, more expensive options made of precious metals, such as gold or silver, can cost upwards to $2500 or more.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards alternative options for cremated remains, such as scattering ashes in a special location, incorporating ashes into jewelry or other keepsakes, or choosing a biodegradable urn for a natural burial. However, traditional options such as placing the ashes in an urn for display or interment in a cemetery or columbarium are still common.

If a family has purchased a manufactured urn and has later made the decission to transfer the cremated remains to a biodegradable urn, they may choose to keep the expensive urn as a keepsake and displaying it in their home or using it for other purposes, such as a vase or decorative item. It's also worth noting that some manufacturers and retailers may offer a return or exchange policy for urns, even if they have been used. The family may want to contact the manufacturer or retailer to see if this is an option. Alternatively, they may choose to donate the urn to a funeral home or cemetery, as many organizations will accept used urns and use them for future services.


Temorary urns from the crematory are containers used to hold the cremated remains after the cremation process is complete. They are typically made of lightweight materials and are not meant for long-term storage or display. Temporary urns are used for transportation, memorial services, and other temporary needs. They are not meant to be permanent containers for the ashes, and families may wish to purchase a more permanent urn for long-term storage or display.

Whether you wish to transfer your loved one's cremate remains from a temporary cremation container and package to a display urn, or a biodegradable urn, and you feel too overwhelmed or emotional to DIY, ask your Funeral Director to make the transfer. They should have no problem taking care of that detail for you.


Many families choose to inter their loved ones' ashes in a columbarium for a variety of reasons, including convenience, security, and the ability to visit and remember their loved ones in a peaceful and dignified setting. Columbaria can also provide a permanent memorial for the deceased, allowing their memory to be preserved for future generations.

Columbariums are not required by law for the storage of cremated remains, but they are a common and traditional option for families who choose cremation. The cost of interring ashes in a columbarium can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the location of the columbarium, the type of niche or space selected, the materials used in the construction of the columbarium, and any additional services or amenities that may be included.

In general, the cost of a niche or space in a columbarium can range from several hundred to upwards to $10,000 or more depending on location and level of demand. Some columbaria may also charge additional fees for services such as opening and closing the niche, engraving a plaque or marker, or providing maintenance and upkeep of the columbarium.

The choice of how to dispose of cremated remains is a personal one, and it should be made based on the wishes of the deceased and the preferences of their loved ones. And there are also other options for the final disposition of cremated remains, including 'responsibly' scattering the ashes in a meaningful location, burying the urn in a cemetery plot, or keeping the urn at home or in another personal location.


Conservation and green burials of cremated remains are relatively new concepts and not yet widely known or practiced by the general public. However, there is a growing interest in eco-friendly and sustainable burial practices, and as such, more people are becoming aware of these options.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the availability of biodegradable urns and eco-friendly burial products, as well as the development of conservation burial grounds that allow individuals to leave a lasting legacy by contributing to the protection of natural habitats and wildlife.

Furthermore, there are many organizations and resources available online that provide information about conservation and green burials of cremated remains, including the benefits of these options for the environment, as well as the various types of urns and burial options available.

Overall, while conservation and green burials of cremated remains are not yet mainstream, there is a growing awareness and interest in these options, and it is likely that more people will become familiar with them in the coming years.

The choice of urn for conservation or green burial of cremated ashes depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the individual or organization responsible for the final disposition of the remains. However, some urns are designed specifically for conservation or green burial purposes and may be more suitable for these types of interment.

For conservation purposes, biodegradable urns made of natural materials such as clay, sand, or plant fibers are often used. These urns can be buried in the ground, and over time they will decompose, allowing the ashes to become part of the natural ecosystem.

For green burial, urns made of natural materials such as bamboo, wicker, or even recycled paper are often used. These urns are designed to be biodegradable and can be buried in the ground without causing harm to the environment.

It's important to note that some cemeteries and burial grounds may have specific regulations regarding the type of urns that can be used for conservation or green burial purposes. Therefore, it is always best to check with the cemetery or burial ground before making a final decision on the type of urn to use.

It is important to note that the final disposition of cremated remains is a personal and often emotional decision, and it is normal to have second thoughts or to change your mind. If you are struggling to make a decision, it may be helpful to talk to a funeral director, a grief counselor, or other trusted advisor like to help you explore your options and make the best decision for you and your loved ones.

The most important thing is to find a final disposition option that feels meaningful and respectful to you and your loved ones, and that honors the memory of the deceased in a way that feels authentic and meaningful.

As a culture, we are becoming more aware of sustainable options for funeral arrangements and final disposition that are not traditionally offered by funeral homes. This awareness is driven by a growing concern for the environment, a desire to reduce our carbon footprint, and a preference for more natural and meaningful end-of-life experiences.

Traditionally, funeral homes have offered conventional options such as embalming, burial in a traditional casket, and the use of synthetic materials in funeral merchandise. However, these options may not align with the values and preferences of individuals and families who are seeking more sustainable and eco-friendly options.

In response to this demand, many funeral homes are now offering a range of sustainable options, including green burial, conservation burial, and natural or biodegradable caskets and urns. These options allow individuals and families to choose a final disposition that is more in line with their values and preferences, and that has a lower impact on the environment.

Overall, the increasing awareness of sustainable options in funeral arrangements and final disposition reflects a growing recognition of the need to care for the environment even in death, and a desire for more personalized and meaningful end-of-life experiences.

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