How do I scatter ashes?

By Irina Jordan

Scattering ashes is becoming more popular thanks to a variety of options. All of the ashes can be scattered in one place like your loved one’s or beloved pet's favorite spot in a backyard or garden. The ashes can also be scattered little by little in a variety of different places. Family members and friends can also pick scattering locations that are memorable for them.

There is no limit when it comes to scattering ashes of a loved one or beloved pet. Many consider scattering ashes to be more natural and it gives us a sense of freedom and being one with nature. Scattering urns are used for scattering ceremonies.

Popular methods for scattering ashes:

  • Casting ashes: tossing the ashes to the wind. Usually done by one individual while others look on. Care and consideration of others should be used when casting. Check the direction of the wind and cast down wind.

    If you want to scatter the ashes in a local park, you must scatter them in an isolated area a good distance away from any walking trails, playgrounds, or other areas frequented by people. At a national park, request a permission to scatter ashes form a park ranger. If you want to scatter the ashes on a private property, request permission from property owners. It is not permitted to scatter ashes at Walt Disney World or other amusement parks.

  • Scattering ashes over water: scattering ashes over a body of water. Keep in mind that Federal guidelines require that you are three nautical miles from the coastline if you choose to travel and scatter the ashes in the ocean.

  • Green burial: burying a biodegradable scattering urn in the ground and scattering some ashes on top. The ceremony can be done at a green cemetery or on a private property.

As long as it is permitted by local regulations, you may have a scattering ceremony in a place that is meaningful to you. Some people may find it hard to simply pour the ashes of a loved one out onto the ground or into the sea. If you wish to have your ashes scattered somewhere, it is important to discuss your wishes to be scattered ahead of time with family members and friends who will be performing a scattering ceremony.