When a family member dies, lasting memorials can offer distressed relatives some relief. For a number of years Barcelona-based Bios Urn has been producing biodegradable urns that use people's ashes to help grow a tree after their death. Now, it's offering the Bios Urn for Pets.

The Bios Urn was first launched in 1997 as an alternative means of memorializing loved ones. It is aimed at providing a physical entity or place that can be visited, as well as being economic, ecological and sustainable. The new Bios Urn for Pets is really no different to the existing product, but is simply positioned to make clear that the product can be used for animals.

The urn itself is made using 100 percent biodegradable materials and without the use of glues or chemical additives. It can be supplied without a seed so that the buyer can add one of their own choosing, or can be supplied with a maple, pine, ginko, beech or ash seed. For users keen to ensure that germination will take place or to accelerate the process, an existing sprout, shrub or plant can be used in place of a seed.

Ashes are placed in the lower portion of the urn, with the seed placed in the upper module along with supplied growth medium and some soil from the area that the urn will be planted. The urn is then planted 3-5 cm (1.2-2 in) below the surface of the soil and watered for growth. Ongoing care is required in the same way as would be the case for a normal tree.

Bios Urn says that the growth mixture in the upper module is designed to encourage initial germination. As the urn degrades, the ashes in the lower section are said to become part of the growth medium for the established tree.

The Bios Urn is available to order online and costs US$145 plus shipping.

Source: Bios Urn