Why We Should Convert Cemeteries into forests

Over the past two decades, cemeteries all over the world have been running out of viable burial space. With limited space, comes price surges and increases. Various countries around the world are now faced with the ultimate question: what do we do when we run out of cemetery space? Places like England and China are already dealing with these situation. Cremation is almost required in China, and even finding a place to store an urn seems to come with a long waitlist. Cities and countries in Europe are known to ¨lease¨ or recycle graves, but this is also a temporary solution that does not directly address the issue at hand.

Recent headlines across the world read:

What happens when cemetery space runs out? – CBC

Death in the city: what happens when all our cemeteries are full? – The Guardian

Housing the dead: what happens when a city runs out of space?The Conversation (with reference to the Bios Urn)

Re-thinking the cemetery.

In the next 20 years, cemeteries in some parts of the world are predicted to run out of space completely. When cemeteries were first created and used widely during the industrial revolution, they were not designed with a sustainable future in mind. No one thought to question what would happen if space became limited. Caskets, embalming, and other compliments of the modern funeral have made cemeteries even less scalable.

How can we shift from a traditional cemetery to an alternative, one that serves our communities, and the environment? We believe the answer lies where it often does: in nature.

Let´s convert cemeteries into forests.

The Bios Urn was first thought up by Gerard when he was planting flowers and vegetables in the garden with his grandmother. His grandmother found a dead bird, and instinctively planted the bird with wildflower seeds, thus giving it new life. This image and memory stuck in Gerard´s mind, prompting him to think about the circle of life and death, and how nature is inherently involved in this process. The natural laws of the Earth teach us that everything is recycled, and that energy never truly leaves, it merely changes form.

Cemeteries need to evolve. We propose a new space that is not dedicated merely to store the deceased, but also to propagate new life in wake. The world as it stands now has reached nearly 7 billion in population. If we continue to unsustainably bury those who have passed, we will no doubt run out of viable land for future generations to come. This land should instead be used to replenish our forests, promote growth, and provide sustenance for the future.

With the Bios urn we hope to open up a conversation and dialogue around ecological and environmentally friendly alternatives. After all, everything must go back from whence it came.

We are on a mission.

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  1. Leanne says

    Totally agree, have been saying to my husband, wouldn’t it be great if we bought a property down south and turned it in to a tree cemetery, where family can come plant their loved ones and still come to visit, to reflect or just sit amongst the trees.

    If I do decide to do this, can I come to you guys on how to get started??


  2. Jill says

    Yes please. Inform me immediately if someone comes up with the land for a forest cemetary. Anywhere in the country.

    • Bios Urn says

      Hi Jill! One place in Canada has been established solely for Bios Urn planting 🙂 There are many natural or green burial grounds which allow for the planting of a Bios Urn as well!

  3. Connie Deal says

    I LOVE this idea. I believe my family would be on board. I see no reason why the city or county would, could or should get involved, does anyone else? I’m thinking along the way of taxes and ordinances.
    All we would be doing is planting trees on our property….buy several acres. I guess the question would be when it comes time to placing markers or headstones to “personalize” the trees.
    How would this all fly?
    This message is to continue the dialog. What county/township/city office would we contact?
    Thanks for all of your comments!

    • Bios Urn says

      Hi Connie! Great ideas which definitely need to be thought out in more depth.
      We must continue the dialogue and continue spreading the word.

      Where are you located?

    • Clorinda Bommarito says

      Why would you need to get anyone ( City,Township etc. ) else involved. If you want to put a small memorial plaque on or near a tree on your own property..

      • Bios Urn says

        If you own your own property you don´t need to, but some people don´t so a good option is to have a communal space or garden for trees to flourish!

  4. Julie says

    I think Bios Urns are AWESOME. What a great way to give back to the earth. I have shown my boys and they feel fantastic that this is on offer.

    • Bios Urn says

      Hello Shanna,
      Thank you for taking the time to write to us.
      Regarding our recently launched Bios Parks®, the first one is open in Quebec (Canada). You can find out more information on our website.
      Having said this, the Bios Urn® doesn´t necessarily have to be planted in a “Bios Park®”. If you are looking for a public space, we have created various articles on our website that explain how to find a public place to plant the Bios Urn®. You can find recommendations for places to plant your Bios Urn® and planting your Bios Urn® in a public park or forest on our website.

      Seeing as you live in the US, we find these websites quite useful also:

      Each green burial site or hybrid cemetery will be able to confirm if it is possible to plant a Bios Urn as each natural burial ground offers different kinds of services:

      Also you could carry out an internet search with keywords such as “woodland burial”, “natural burial grounds”, “memorial gardens” or “green burial grounds” in your state, you should see what is closest to you and they are sure to be able to provide further information also.

      Just so you know, the Bios Urn® can be legally planted on any private property in most countries, such as a backyard or garden. If you have this option, but are concerned about how long you will be living there, you can bring your Bios Urn® tree with you even if you move. The Bios Urn® can also be planted in a planter or a suitable planting container. More info on our website also!

      Thank you so much

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