With the increasing popularity of cremation, families are getting very creative when it comes to the disposition of remains. While interring ashes in some sort of urn or vessel is most common, more and more people are taking the phrase, “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” literally and opting to scatter their loved one’s remains.

Cremated human remains are considered non-hazardous and can be scattered practically anywhere that had special meaning to the deceased – a national park, a body of water, private property (with permission), or a cemetery are just a few of them. They can even be launched into outer space.

It’s legal to scatter cremated remains on public land as long as it isn’t a Native American burial ground. Scattering at sea is also legal, but the EPA requires remains be dropped at least three nautical miles from shore and that any flowers left onsite be fully biodegradable. Scattering of remains at sea is available to all veterans and dependents by the Navy or Coast Guard.

Another option is to split the remains between family members. For example, each child could take some and scatter them in a place that has is indicative of the relationship they had with their parent. Some could also be kept until the spouse passes away and their remains could then be scattered together.