Cemeteries need to evolve and accept new alternative burial options.

When Hélène Blondin passed away, her family opted to use a Bios Urn, as they felt it was an appropriate way to remember her after life, and that it would be a beautiful memorial. They wanted to use the Bios Urn in a cemetery in Quebec.

Quebec has become increasingly strict on burying urns in the past few years, and has also just passed a law which further regulates ash scattering as well. Blondin´s residence in Rouyn-Noranda has nearly 11 cemeteries and none of these accept the planting of a Bios Urn. According to a representative of the city of Rouyn-Noranda, Lise Paquet, she believes there are too many ¨unanswered questions¨ about Bios Urns, and that is the reason they do not allow for them to be planted.

After reading this article on CBC, we reached out to Lise Paquet and attempted to make contact so we could answer some of these questions. We have yet to hear a reply.

The Bios Urn has been used all over the world in various locations and places, including many cemeteries and natural burial grounds. What has become clear to us in the past few years is that some people, cemeteries, and funeral associations have been quick to embrace these changes, while others have refused to.

Evolution is a necessary step towards progression. If there is anything we have learned as a species and as a people, it´s that change is the driving force in society, and that those who embrace change or facilitate it, tend to be the ones who drive us forward.

While the funeral industry has remained fairly unchanged for decades, it is now being forced to reevaluate an antiquated system that no longer serves everyone. Everyone has the right to choose how they would like to leave this world, and many people are seeking an alternative way of doing things that suits their needs and wishes. While limitations still exist in the Quebec area, many cemeteries all over the world are taking notice of this shift.

In Sherbrooke, a natural cemetery has been created which allows for the planting of a Bios Urn, and other natural methods. François Fouquet is the general manager of Coopérative funéraire de l’Estrie, and is behind the most recent natural burial ground in the area. ”It is very popular. People are more and more conscious of the mark they are leaving behind, and I think there is a lot of potential in these new models,” said Fouquet. There is also an urns-only natural cemetery in Prévost, in the Laurentians, which opened in 2009.

When we first developed the Bios Urn in 1997, we weren´t sure how people across the globe would react. When we finally decided to launch the Bios Urn in 2013, we knew we would face opposition and that it wouldn´t always be easy, but we were committed to making it happen, and introducing a new product that we truly believed in.

What we hope is that the Bios Urn continues to be apart of an open dialogue around more sustainable and environmentally respectful burial methods, and that user-driven preferences help lead the way towards this much needed paradigm shift.

We are working to create a database of cemeteries and natural burial grounds that allow for the planting of a Bios Urn. If you know of any located near you, comment below and let us know! Share your thoughts with us, and the rest of our community.

If you have any questions about planting restrictions or limitations in your city, state, province, or country – comment below or contact us here.

The Bios Team,

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  1. Trish says

    Just wanting to offer you encouragement.
    Movements for change are started by the people closest to the events.

    As you are part of environment, and the environmental effects of death… You are far closer to this than us regular folk who watch.

    Thank you for continuing to pursue this.
    We need help to work on our human impact from all sides 🙂

    Thank you for holding up this side.

    • Bios Urn says

      Thank you so much Trish! We are truly appreciative of your support. As the adage goes, it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to instigate change and progress 🙂

  2. Judy St Clair says

    One needs to consider just where the urn is going to be placed and then who is going to take care of it! If you live in the desert as I do, that takes a long commitment! Not all places that accept ashes, and if they do, there are rules (ie: California) regarding not identifying the place where the ashes are unless you are in a cemetery.

    • Bios Urn says

      Hi Judy! Absolutely. We try to be as helpful as possible in terms of helping people choose, and become aware of places. We have had customers tell us they have made arrangements with golf courses, and even on Sacred Native American Land. Others have also told us that they started the Bios Urn off indoors in a planter, and relocated it to a park or forest once it had reached adequate size!

  3. Leslie Layton says

    Your product the Bios Urn is a wonderful alternative to what has been traditionally available and fit’s my personality. However…. my biggest concern has been “where to plant” and how will I know my tree will not be cut down? It doesn’t seem appropriate to plant in ones home since it will be eventually sold to another person, so yes, we need a safe secure place that will honor and care for Bios Trees. Please continue keep us informed on secure locations or alternative planting places.
    Leslie L.
    PS: I live in Southern California (Greater Los Angeles area) and would love to know of areas where Bios Urns are accepted.

    • Bios Urn says

      Hi Leslie! Thank you for your support in the Bios Urn. In California, the Bios Urn can be planted in a back yard. If you intend to move homes, you can have a tree relocation service assist you with transplanting the tree to a forest, park, or location of your choosing! Luckily, California is a state with many options, as there are many natural and green burial grounds available. The Green Burial Council, which is based in Ojai, CA, has wonderful resources for locations which allow for green burials (and Bios Urns). https://greenburialcouncil.org/find-a-provider/ If you ever need more assistance, please don´t hesitate to email us, or contact us!

  4. Olga says

    I love the idea of the bios urn, however my mother is catholic and according to the church, she can only be buried in consecrated ground. My father recently passed, and has been cremated, in anticipation of finding someone who can consecrate the ground, so they can both be trees in the future. I would like to see some cemeteries acknowledge this practice, or allow a particular piece of a forest be consecrated so that we as the children can follow their wishes. And also have a place we can visit or sit in serenity, knowing our parents are there. I’m in north western NJ, and have high hopes!!

  5. Vicky minich says

    Wow. Rouyn Noranda is one hour away from my hometown where we buried my mom’s. ashes this past summer. I will inquire the next time I am there about the Bios Urn. If I ever win the lottery I will buy land and allow this type of burial. Thank you.

    Vicky in Calgary, Alberta

  6. Julie Errington says

    I am trying to organise my own funeral so that it will be exactly how I want it and I would love to have my ashes buried in a Bios Urn as I feel providing for local wildlife will be the final thing I can do. I have approached everywhere I can think of on the island of Jersey where I live and nobody will entertain the thought of this. If you do manage to locate anywhere in Jersey or UK I would appreciate it if you could let me know.
    Keep trying to change the views of the authorities, surely they will see sense eventually, maybe even try a huge worldwide petition online.

  7. Larisa Z-S says

    Thank you for everything you are doing. It’s a great idea, I am a big supporter , if I would have a chance to make a differerence in the near future I will. Only people themselves can speed or slow down how quick Bios Urn will become part of the natural order.In this case you have not only business on the way , you have religions, if one day we can find the way to convince them all , that will be the Victory for Bios Urn. In the mean time, Happy New Year to your team!!

    Larisa Z-S

  8. Diane Hubbell says

    This is an awesome idea for other avenues as well. Our burial grounds for inmates are over-crowded and I think this would be a fantastic solution!

  9. Diane Hubbell says

    This is an awesome idea for other avenues as well. Our burial grounds for inmates are over-crowded and I think this would be a fantastic solution! Many inmates have no families to take their remains and I think this would be a good way to keep their memory alive regardless.
    Not only is this economical, but also ecological as well. Its a Win-Win!

  10. Carol Murphy says

    Have you had any feedback from Sydney Australia. I am very interested in your Bios Urn but don’t know where to start. Regards Carol Murphy.

  11. Lyse says

    Lise Paquet, have you ever thought to sue the local cementeries to force them to accept bio-urns. If this avenue works, you might succeed in changing the practices there. There are a ton of good lawyer in your area that could help you.

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