Better Biodegradable Urns

Poetree_colorMany people, when dealing with a death in the family, opt for cremation. The Cremation Association of North America has noted an upward trend in people choosing cremation over burial, predicting that by 2025, over half of Americans will favor cremations: approximately 56%.

French designer Margaux Ruyant has introduced a sleek biodegradable urn, slated to be available for public purchase later this year. Dissatisfied with existing biodegradable urns, Ruyant created Poetree, an urn much better conceived than its name.

Poetree is an attractive bowl-shaped urn made of cork with a ceramic lid. The lid is imprinted with the name of the deceased, and any other text the family desires, in a circle around a cork stopper in the middle. Also provided will be a small potted boxwood sapling.

The urn is meant to be used in a three-part ritual. First, the urn is placed in a desired setting, such as a mantle, shelf, or table. The family can keep the urn this way for as long as they choose, until they are ready for the next phase, when the stopper is removed and the boxwood sapling in its cork pot is nestled in the ashes.

The boxwood will soon grow beyond the pot, sending its roots into the ashes, and providing the family or next of kin with a new, lively focus. When it’s ready, the urn can be taken outside and planted in the yard, or in some other suitable location. The tree will grow to its full size, its roots expanding beyond the urn as the cork biodegrades and the ashes become one with the soil. The ceramic lid will remain, surrounding the tree, as a permanent grave marker for the deceased.

Margaux Ruyant’s Poetree urn is expected to be available for public purchase in late 2016. For more information, visit

By John M. Burt