Our previous article What on Earth is a Biodegradable Urn? explained the basics of a biodegradable tree urn. The article profiled the Bios Urn which buries a pine tree seed along with the ashes of your departed loved one. The Living Urn is a similar product that is planted with your choice of evergreen tree seedling that arrives by mail.
The memory of your loved one will not fade away with time. A sustainable and lasting memorial tree will grow from wherever you plant your urn. This living memory will stand the test of time. One day you can sit beneath its branches instead of visiting a cold stone marker at a traditional grave site.
How much does a typical funeral cost?
This detailed breakdown shows all the various costs that go into a “regular adult funeral”. The National Funeral Director’s Association states the average total cost as $7,323 based on 2006 prices. That also does not include a cemetery plot, grave marker, or flowers.
When those additional costs are added and updated to current prices, the total cost for a “regular adult funeral” is more like $9,000. Also consider that there is a wide range in every piece of the cost. The total could end up half that $9,000 or easily 2-3 times as much.
One of the single largest costs in a typical funeral is the casket. A cardboard casket for cremation might only cost $100, but even the most basic wood casket will be $300-500. At the higher end, a hardwood or metal casket will range from $1,000-3000 all the way up to over $10,000.
Are traditional funerals sustainable?
Death and burial are rooted in religious and cultural traditions. Many traditions center on burial ceremonies and how we remember the dead. These spiritual traditions have unfortunately been co-opted in many ways. Modern funerals have become more and more expensive every year. This is due to many factors that have nothing to do with religion or culture.
Over the years it’s become normal to buy an elaborate casket and a large, stately headstone. Funeral homes have been saddled with more regulations that make it costlier to run their business. A shortage of cemetery space in large cities has occurred as vacant land becomes more scarce. This causes the price of a cemetery plot to rise exponentially.
None of these aspects have much to do with tradition and everything to do with scarcity. High end stones used for grave markers are not an renewable resource. Wood caskets are finished and sealed to last for decades. Metal or stone caskets will last for millennia. None of these products are sustainable nor cheap!
For thousands of years, the average person was buried either directly in the ground or in a simple pine coffin. It’s only in recent history that the average person had the means to afford a more permanent burial previously reserved for nobles and royalty. This is why green burial methods such as what you can do with The Living Urn are so interesting as society moves forward into the 21st century.
The Living Urn is a lasting solution
Funerals costs will only go higher. They aren’t making any more land for burial plots. Running a funeral home business won’t get any easier or less costly. It takes ages for geologic forces to create more marble for headstones and grave markers. Green burial methods using products like The Living Urn offer a simple solution.
Cremation can be much less expensive than a traditional burial in a casket. That doesn’t mean that it has to forgo the meaningful cultural or religious traditions that come with the end of life. The Living Urn will take those ashes and create the lasting memory of a memorial tree. Generations of family and friends will visit the tree for years to come.
Green burial methods can offer many more options for remembrance. Honor your departed loved with a blow-out celebration. You can afford to do so thanks to green burial products like The Living Urn dramatically reducing burial costs. The biodegradable urn even ships in a natural bamboo container that can be re-purposed.
How does The Living Urn work?
The Living Urn is simple to use. Place the ashes of your loved one in the urn. Cover the ashes with an ash-neutralizing agent (included) and add the growth mix (also included) on top. The Living Urn will provide a premium tree seedling, not just a seed, shipped directly from the nursery at the Arbor Day Foundation.
Plant the seedling gently in the growth mix and cover the soil surface with wood chips (included) to conserve moisture. Plant the entire urn in the ground and care for the tree seedling as it grows into a memory tree. The urn measures 7.5″ x 13.9″ x 7.5″. Dig a slightly larger hole than needed so that the urn will fit easily. You don’t want to have to dig a larger hole during the planting ceremony.
By providing a seedling instead of just a seed, The Living Urn eliminates the potential for germination problems. Seedlings started in the Arbor Day Foundation nursery are less likely to die unexpectedly. The evergreen seedling will grow quickly and become strong.
Choose your planting location ahead of time and choose wisely. You may want to find a cemetery that caters to green burial practices. Bury The Living Urn in the woods on land that you own or with another landowner’s permission. There are many options to consider. If you wish to be buried in a biodegradable urn, talk to your family and friends about it long before the time comes to plan your funeral.
Where can I get The Living Urn?
You can buy The Living Urn on Amazon with free shipping included. You can always separate your loved one’s ashes into multiple urns to share with family members. Alternatively you could buy an urn directly from the company’s website. Their site includes lots of great information, but GoGreenBurial.com won’t receive a commission unless you order from Amazon. See our affiliate disclosure at the bottom of this post.
You can also use this urn with ashes from a long-departed loved one. Instead of having the ashes sit idly on the mantle for eternity, give their remains back to Mother Nature by planting them The Living Urn and creating a living memory with a memory tree.
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