Life & Death: Celebrating the Independence of Choice

Every year, various countries and states around the world celebrate a day of independence. Generally these days are rooted in historical events that occurred in years or decades past.
What rings true about independence days in the world, is the sense of freedom reflected in these days – a sense of autonomy that the collective can and does relate to.

As we grow and age on an individual level, we are often confronted with decisions we must learn to make alone. Many of these decisions relate to our lives, and have the power to change them depending on their magnitude. Some of these questions also relate to death, and often times these decisions are not confronted or are placed on the back burner. How can we stress the importance of making conscious choices not just in our lives, but in our deaths? How can we illustrate the importance of independence and autonomy that goes into choosing what we want in our life and in our deaths?


Aside from pre-planning, and choosing how you would like to leave this world ahead of time – we are now faced with an incredible amount of options, that many before us did not have. To pre-plan is to engage in an open and conscious dialogue about your life, and your end-of-life plans. It is in some ways self-assertion, as you are choosing to connect yourself with not just a product, but an idea and a movement. It is never a bad time to do this. Many people associate with pre-planning with being a task solely kept for older age, but the truth is, it should be done at any age. We should always be making conscientious choices and these choices should always reflect our personal and moral values, even when it comes to passing on.

Independence of choice

When people actively engage in a dialogue about how they would like to leave this world, they are free to choose the ways in which they would like to do it. For example, some individuals who choose a Bios Urn for themselves, often make plans on which tree they would like to have planted with them, and where they would like it to grow. Imagine this: a man chooses a Bios Urn with a beautiful Maple tree, and makes plans with his family on planting the Bios Urn in his daughters back yard. Years later when he has passed on, his daughter honors the wish her father had. Once that tree begins to grow, she sees it as a living and breathing memorial, which over time will only continue to grow. She finds solace in knowing she honored her father, and in having a place where he is at peace. That story is real, and it´s exactly what Lillea did with her father when he passed. Today his tree has grown ten fold, and stands tall in her backyard. You can read her story here.
What that story illustrates, is that we each have the option to choose, and we should utilize our freedom of choice to do so.

Green Burial Options

We´ve always encouraged the reforestation of the earth, and promoted converting cemeteries into forests. In recent years, more natural and environmentally conscious options for burial have been on the rise. An alternative to cremation which is known as alkaline hydrolysis has also been gaining traction. Alkaline Hydrolysis (aka “green cremation”) is a more sustainable option to cremation. Over the past decade and with the help of modern technology, crematoriums have been able to monitor the amount of emissions exuded from regular cremation. “Green cremation” has become a favored alternative which does not emit any carbon emissions, and produces a similar ash like substance to that of normal cremation.

Choosing your tree and where to plant

Often times people choose the Bios Urn and choose to use it with a tree that holds some sentiment, either because it is preferred by them, or because they relate to it.
After all, each tree is said to have specific symbolism (like the Oak, and the Maple..) What we always recommend is choosing a tree that fits in line with your vision, and is compatible with your local environment. It´s always best to choose native or common tree species, which do not upset the ecological balance. You can find information on the trees we offer here. The Bios Urn can be used with any kind of seed, seedling or sapling. Often times, people will choose a Bios Urn without seeds and will use their own seeds or seedling with the Bios Urn – which is absolutely okay. The Bios Urn can be legally planted in a number of locations, including but not limited to: backyards, private property, churches, natural burial grounds, memorial gardens, and even some forests and parks (prior authorization is required.)

It´s important to recognize that these choices and options are unique, and each resonates with the individual. What works for some, may not work for all – and that is okay. The most important thing is to recognize that we have the independence to choose, and that in itself is a gift.

Bios Urn is a biological biodegradable urn designed to grow a tree using ashes.

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