An introduction to Scattering Urns

Scattering Ashes in the UK, The Living Urn

An introduction to Scattering Urns

One of the most common funeral ceremonies in the world is cremation. In the UK, the cremation rate has risen steadily from 35% in 1960 to nearly 80% in the current day. It is also common for those who choose this form of ‘burial’, will choose to have their ashes scattered.

Scattering Ashes

Over the years, families have been provided with a container by the funeral home (or crematorium) to hold their loved ones ashes. On some occasions, as long as the container is rigid, leak resistant and non-toxic, others may choose to provide their own. 

However, there are some common issues that arise by scattering ashes using one of these simple containers:

  • You may have reduced control over the direction of the ashes when scattered, which can result in the ash blowing back towards you and your family
  • You may find that it is harder to maintain the flow when released into the air- By releasing to little or too much
  • Lastly, it may be more difficult to transport the ashes and keep them secure when travelling to your chosen place, and you may want to share the ashes with another family member so you will not want to risk losing anything.

Because of this, many families that we speak to are now looking for alternative solutions that will enable them to enjoy a much smoother process, when scattering their loved ones ashes and do so in a much more courtly manner.

What is a scattering urn?

A scattering urn is a container that has been designed with two objectives in mind for you. To safely hold the cremated remains of your loved one until you are ready to scatter and to make it easy to pour out the ashes when you are ready to scatter them, giving you control and ease over the moment. Typically, scattering urns are constructed in a cylinder shape that are easily held away from the body to prevent any unfortunate blow back of the ashes. You will find that most scattering urns are sustainable and biodegradable, they will most commonly be made from bamboo, wood, paper or cardboard. 

An advantage of the scattering urn, when made from Bamboo and wood, is that these are made from completely natural and unprocessed materials. Because of this, they are considered the most eco-friendly solution and they will not harm the environment, when disposed of in nature. 

Eco Scattering Urn

Introduced a few years ago, was something called Eco Scattering and this has quickly become one of the most popular solutions for families and their loved ones. The biodegradable urn, made from only bamboo is a completely natural, sustainable resource. Our eco urn is strong, lightweight and it has been designed to be beautiful, dignified, highly functional and very easy to use. Baboo is considered one of the most eco friendly building materials because it grows back incredibly fast once harvested, making this a highly environmentally friendly product too. 

Another benefit of manufacturing with bamboo is that the Eco Scattering Urns are completely CAA compliant (which might not always be the case with all scattering urns), this means that you and your family can travel freely with the urn and your loved one. 

Due to the nature of the design of the Eco Scattering Urn, it enables a controlled release that gives you and your family more direction over the flow, when scattering the ashes - Making this truly unique. The opening of the urn is also positioned to the side, at the top and not in the middle, this makes everything much freer and stops anything from becoming stuck inside the container - The top can be closed, locked and resealed which is ideal if your family wants to scatter some of the ashes at multiple locations, or take some home.

Whether you would like to use the Eco Scattering Urn straight away or take the ashes home for a while (years if desired) is entirely up to you. Our eco-urn is biodegradable and will not break down until exposed to water and soil.

This unique scattering urn is quickly becoming a favourite here in the UK and comes in 3 sizes. The large Eco Scattering Urn is designed to hold all of one set of ashes of most people (3.68 Litres), the medium (1.63 Liters) is of a size large enough to hold about half and the small (0.819 Litres) is for families splitting up ashes among more than two people or for families that want to use it as a keepsake to keep some of the remains or scatter just a small portion. Starting at £49, the Eco Scattering Urn is an affordable option for most families.

Scattering Ashes in the UK, The Living Urn

Other Scattering Urns

Some scattering urn can also be made from cardboard. Similar to most urns with it’s cylinder shape, it can also have graphics printed on the side. Whilst they are similar in price comparison to the Eco Scattering Urn, there are a few key differences:

  • Commonly, you will need to assemble the container yourself as they are comprised of two cardboard tubes, one fitting inside of the other. The container will need to be glued whilst assembling and you will need to open the perforated circle on the top to create the release hole. When the release hole is located at the top, centrally to the urn this presents some difficulty when you go to scatter the cremated ashes of your loved one.
  • Secondly, because the perforated circle is permanently open, it can be challenging to keep the ashes safe from spilling, if you would like to take some home or scatter at a second (or third) location.
  • Because the container is manufactured with cardboard, it will not be protected from weather conditions such as rain or snow.
  • Lastly, the processed cardboard tube, with images and graphics printed on the side can be much less eco friendly than the more popular bamboo or wood urns as the manufacturing process uses significantly more energy and resource.

Another option for scattering urns is a tall wooden box, where the top can be removed and placed back on. This presents a challenge because of the shape, it is not a cylindrical shape and it will typically have to be used with two hands or more than one person. These boxes will also be heavier and harder for you to travel with.

Scattering urns will also come in the form of a metal tube, these tubes are very strong, durable and easy to transport but they are commonly smaller and may not hold the recommended amount of your loved ones remains. These are also not biodegradable and they are not TSA compliant, so they cannot be transported on a flight making them the less eco friendly option for your family.

Where can you use your scattering urn?

Choosing the right place to scatter your loved ones ashes is an important decision and there are so many beautiful, peaceful places to choose from. Creating the scattering experience should be memorable and meaningful and this decision is completely unique to you and your family, but here are some popular options:

  • A sentimental location - this may be a childhood home, their favourite place to relax; a beach, forest or nature walk or any outdoor location that was special to the loved one that has passed. 
  • Their favourite holiday location - perhaps travelling was something held dearly to their heart and they are fond of a particular country. Remember when travelling with your urn, to choose the right solution that is regulated and safe.
  • In natural surroundings - National parks are a very popular destination for scattering ashes and have been used by families for a long time. National parks are chosen because of their close connection to nature and beauty. Remember that parks will have rules surrounding scattering ashes, so it is important to check this first.
  • At home - to keep your loved one close to you, many families choose to do this as it is one of the most memorable locations. 
  • Rose Garden - A beautiful, fragrant place with flowers that bloom year after year

Why do people Scatter Ashes & Use Scattering Urns?

The process of scattering a loved one's ashes can create many emotions and significance to family members. Here are some of the reasons why families opt for this service:

  • When you know that your loved one is having their ashes scattered at their favorite place, this can bring a lot of peace and happiness to your family. You hold a connection with that place as it reminds you of them and they will forever be remembered there, somewhere that you can return to and visit them for years to come.
  • The process of scattering your loved ones ashes can bring you closure. Whether you plant a tree with a Living Urn or opt for a burial service, the act of taking your loved one to a place of rest brings feelings comfort during the emotional period.
  • Most importantly, it will bring you peace. A popular choice for families is to scatter ashes surrounded by nature, enabling you to have complete peace and quiet whilst you remember your loved one and create a calming experience, reflecting on the life that you shared together.