What is a Burial Urn?

Cremation is continually growing in popularity and is one of the most recognised ways to send off your loved one after they pass. When it comes to cremation, most people think that the only way to commemorate the loved one after this is to scatter the ashes, but another popular way is with a burial urn. This is a container that is made from wood, bamboo, paper, plastic, recycled materials or metal and are designed to hold the cremated ashes when you bury them. Below we will go through some of the main types of burial urns that you can opt for.

A biodegradable burial urn

This is a popular option for the eco-conscious as it is an environmentally-friendly choice. This type of urn is made from materials such as bamboo, wood, recycled plant materials, paper, cardboard and ceramic and once they are buried they will biodegrade over time. The length of time it takes for this to happen can be anything from a few days to a few years dependant on the material you choose. It is important to research ahead of time and ensure that the one you choose is right for you and what you want.

Bamboo Burial urn

A bamboo burial urn is a great 100% biodegradable option as it is strong, sturdy, lightweight and fast-growing. This means it is not only a reliable material for the urn but it is also very renewable meaning it doesn't harm the planet. Aesthetics wise, a bamboo urn is also beautiful to look at, with a smooth texture and stunning colours that are interwoven throughout. This means that the urn you decide on will be elegant, dignified and the ideal way to bury your loved one’s ashes. The Eco Burial urn is a patent-pending bamboo burial urn and is fast picking up the pace as a popular option. It is crafted from entirely natural materials and is secured by a birch wood locking pin. The urn is designed to be a sleek cylindrical shape of a standard size to hold the ashes of a single person.

Biodegradable Burial Urn


A burial urn that grows a tree

As part of the Living Urn's patented tree memorial planting system, there is a biodegradable burial urn that is made from recycled plant materials. It is constructed using no glue, chemicals or binding agents and is instead held bound together using water, pressure and heat. The urn is designed to hold all of a person's ashes or just some of them depending if you want them all to be buried or to scatter some somewhere else. The urn is special in the fact that as soon as it is buried in the ground it biodegrades rapidly, allowing the roots of the tree planted at the same time as the urn to commence growing.

There are over fifty different types of trees that you can choose from to plant with the bio urn, though the types that are available will depend on where you are looking to bury the ashes. You can choose the tree or shrub type through the Living Urn and it will be shipped fresh whenever you are ready to plant it, or you can choose to visit a local garden centre to choose your own plant, shrub or tree. The living urn plants are 1-4" in height and are shipped with robust root systems. Instructions will be provided to you that direct you on the best way to plant The Living Urn with the tree purchased. One of the most popular choices tends to be roses and these can either be grown in a large pot or in your garden itself.

Wood, Cardboard or Paper urns 

When it comes to choosing the material for your urn, wood, cardboard or paper are also very popular and there are many choices here. These are often popular choices for keeping ashes at home or scattering them, but can also be used to bury ashes too. Wood urns are considered to be the most natural as they don't contain polyurethane, however, it is not very quick to biodegrade. The same can be said for paper and cardboard - both are not considered to be very eco-friendly as the manufacturing process involves chemicals and can be very energy-intensive. Be sure to check with the supplier to find the one that is best for the environment should this be the route you are looking to take.

Traditional burial urns
If you want some that are a bit more traditional to bury your loved ones ashes in, traditional burial urns come in an array of colours and shapes. With a traditional urn, some families prefer to go down the non-biodegradable route as they want it to stay intact once placed in an urn vault. If this is the case, they will likely be constructed from concrete or heavy plastic. It is generally required that if you are burying an urn like this in a cemetery that you place an urn vault around it. 

Where is best to bury ashes?

There are many places that you can bury ashes and it is up to you to decide on the place that best suits your preferences. Some people will choose to bury the ashes of a loved one somewhere that has a sentimental significance such as at home or somewhere that meant a lot to them (with permission), whereas others opt for a traditional burial plot at a cemetery or an urn garden.

At Home
For a lot of people, having the ashes of their loved ones at home is a way to make them feel closer to them. This could be on a particular plot of the garden that they used to love to sit in, under a tree or in a flower bed. It's a nice idea to add a plaque or bench or something to commemorate them and acknowledge the spot where they are. It is recommended that you check with local regulations that you are permitted to bury a loved one's ashes on your property before you do so.

Somewhere meaningful
If there is somewhere sentimental that makes you think of your loved one then this could be the ideal spot to bury their ashes. There might be a particular park that they used to visit, a hiking trail they used to take, or an area they just loved to sit. This is something that is completely personal to you and your loved one.

In an urn garden
An urn garden can be a beautiful and tranquil place to put your loved one to rest. There are many different urn gardens to be found and some churches also provide these now. Some urn gardens include small pots, interesting landscapes, greenery and rocks, while the more elaborate ones offer the chance to bury ashes in or under benches, fountains or in other areas of the landscape.

A cemetery burial plot
This used to be a place reserved for people in a casket and vault, however many cemeteries are now permitting the burial of cremated ashes here too. This is a great option for families who want to be buried at the same place as the size of the plot can accommodate multiple people.

A natural burial park
More people than ever want to remain conscious of the environment and that is why more burial parks are allowing the natural burial of bodies and loved ones in biodegradable urns. It is a good idea to check out local spots near you that will allow this.

Which burial urn should I choose?

When it comes to picking the right burial urn for you, it comes down to personal choice. You can select from a host of materials, shapes and sizes and it is up to you to do your research and find the one you prefer. Keep in mind that there is no "wrong" choice, it is a very personal thing that only you can decide.

Speak to us today if you have questions surrounding the right choice for you and your family.