Can I scatter my ashes in the backyard? How about at my local park? A lot of us are not sure where it is legal to scatter our loved ones ashes. This article consolidates information found on the ICCFA, CANA, and CremationSolutions websites as well as some creative new ways to lay, or launch, your loved one into the next world.
Where Can I Scatter Cremated Remains or Ashes?
Private Property: It is appropriate to scatter your loved ones ashes on private property if it is your own property. If you want to scatter their ashes on another persons property it is only okay if they consent to it.
Public Property: If you are trying to scatter ashes in a publicly controlled place like a park, you should have to check with the local laws and regulations of your municipality before doing so. You may need a permit in order to scatter the ashes. If you are trying to scatter cremains somewhere public that is not regulated like a forest then you should also check with the local authorities as to whether it is permissible to scatter ashes there. If it is okay, you should scatter the ashes at least 100 yards away from trails to respect other people who may be offended or disturbed by watching this.
Scattering Ashes in Water: When scattering ashes in the water, you must scatter the ashes at a distance of at least 3 nautical miles and the water must be at least 600 feet deep. Some places will require the water to be deeper. For example, Florida requires the water to be 1, 800 feet deep. You can also throw things overboard with the ashes like flowers. However, everything that is thrown with the ashes must be able to decompose. Within the first 30 days of disposing of the ashes you must contact the EPA .
The guidelines above are good to keep in mind, however a good rule or thumb reiterated by many reputable industry organizations is “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. They key is to be respectful of others when scattering the cremated ashes of a loved one.
Carrying the Ashes to Scatter: Before you actually let go of the ashes of your loved one, you will still need something to carry them. In this case, there are scattering tubes (often low in pricing and biodegradable) which will help you transfer the ashes of your loved one to the destination of the scattering. Scattering tubes also come available in many designs. Here we have provided some links to these scattering tubes for your convenience:
The Many Ways to Scatter Ashes
Casting Ashes: This is the act of throwing ashes into the wind. When doing this it is important to pay attention to which way the wind is blowing. You want to throw the ashes downwind so they don’t blow onto you or anyone else. While looking for urns we found a scattering urn that will actually shoot the ashes out of it like a canon! It is known as the “Loved One Launcher” and it can be bought for $375.
Trenching Ashes: Trenching is when you dig a small hole or trench in some soil and then bury the ashes in the soil. A creative idea for trenching that we found was to dig a hole so that it spells out the deceased’s name and then burying the ashes in their name.
Ringing Ashes: This is when you create a ring shape using the ashes. You pour the ashes onto the ground creating a circle. This can be done around a tree or a favorite spot. Another way you could ring the ashes would be to stand in a circle and then ring the ashes in between everyone.