What is a Biodegradable Urn?

What is a Biodegradable Urn?

Biodegradable urns offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cremation urns.

Nature is a beautiful cycle of life and death, and with biodegradable urns, we can honor our loved ones while also caring for the environment. In recent years, there has been more attention on sustainable products and practices in various industries, including funeral planning.

Biodegradable urns offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cremation urns. Here's what you need to know about these unique options.

How do biodegradable urns work?

As the name suggests, biodegradable urns are made from materials that can decompose naturally rather than staying intact indefinitely, like traditional urns. These urns can be buried in the ground or placed in water, where they will eventually break down and become part of the earth.

Some biodegradable urns contain the ashes, while others are designed to disperse them as they break down. They allow the remains to become part of a larger ecosystem rather than staying contained in one place.

What materials are used for biodegradable urns?

Biodegradable urns can be made from a variety of materials, including but not limited to:


Bamboo is a renewable resource that breaks down quickly and easily in soil. It is known for its strength and versatility, making it a popular choice for those who don't plan on scattering the ashes immediately. You can display the cremation urn in your home as a beautiful and natural tribute to your loved one.


Paper urns can be beautifully crafted and decorated, offering a unique and personalized way to honor your loved one. These urns will break down quickly when placed in water or buried in the ground.


Like bamboo, wooden urns offer a natural and renewable option for those who want to display the urn before scattering or burying it. Wood does eventually decompose, making it a good choice for biodegradable options.

Water soluble materials

Some biodegradable urns are made from water-soluble materials, such as salt or gelatin. These urns can be placed in water, where they will dissolve and disperse the ashes. The added benefit of water-soluble urns is that the degradation process happens in real-time, offering closure and a sense of peace for loved ones.

Why choose a biodegradable urn?

There are many reasons why someone might choose a biodegradable urn for ashes. For some, it's about honoring the natural cycle of life and death and leaving a smaller footprint on the earth.

Use cases for biodegradable urns

Thanks to their eco-friendly design and unique properties, biodegradable urns can be used in various ways. Here are some options to consider:

Planting memorial trees

Some biodegradable urns can have seeds or plants planted on top, allowing the remains to nourish new life. As the material breaks down, only the tree will remain. It's a beautiful way to honor your loved one and create a living memorial.

Scattering at sea

Water-soluble urns can be scattered at sea, allowing the ashes to become part of the ocean ecosystem. This option is perfect for those with a love of the water or an affinity for marine life.

Burial in natural settings

Since they won't harm the earth, biodegradable urns can be buried in nature. This allows for a peaceful and natural final resting place for your loved one. That way, you can keep your loved one close as long as you need to grieve before returning them to the earth for closure.

Where to find biodegradable urns

Biodegradable urns are a relatively rare option, so they may not be readily available at every funeral home or cremation provider. Only select online memorial companies offer these eco-friendly options as part of their collections.

At Oaktree Memorials, we don't currently offer biodegradable urn options. However, we have various beautiful and unique urn choices, including wooden options. Please check out our collection or contact us to learn more about our available memorial choices.

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