Frequently Asked Questions:
It will vary depending on the height and gender of the person. On average it's usually 1.8 to 2.7 kilograms (4 to 6 pounds). All of our urn products will accommodate these weights, and more.
Women and elderly people have less bone density and will produce slightly less ash remains than that of a young healthy male of similar height.
Predetermining or calculating the amount of ashes that will be left after a cremation is not an exact science. As a rule of thumb the funeral industry adopted the following formula:
"1 pound of body weight = one cubic inch of cremated remains".
The problem with this formula is that it's based on a person being an ideal healthy weight, which can be misleading when trying to determine what size of urn will be required for a person that's obese or well over their ideal weight. After the cremation process the ashes that remain are only from the bones, all soft tissue burns away including all excess flesh or fat. Taller people generally have a larger skeletal structure, therefore the height of the person would be a more accurate method in estimating how much ash will remain and what size of urn would be required.
Most adult urns are a standard size made to accommodate either 200 or 220 cubic inches of cremated remains. A 220 cubic inch urn will usually accommodate the remains of any adult up to 193 cm tall (6' 4"), with less than 5% of the world's population exceeding this height.
The average amount of cremation remains of an adult is usually a little less than 200 cubic inches, or about 3 litres.
Our Voyager Urns and ash bags have a large capacity of 240 cubic inches (or about 4 litres) and will accommodate the cremated remains of any individual up to 200 cm tall (6' 6").
No, not necessarily. What matters most is the height of the person not so much their weight. In the cremation process, all flesh and fat is completely incinerated and what remains is mostly bone matter. For example, if you were to take two adult males both being 183cm tall (6'), but one person weighed 77kg (170lbs) and the other person weighed 118kg (260lbs), the amount of ashes of each person will be relatively close to the same.
Based on our experience and tests we have found that the amount of time it takes for the Voyager urn to sink averages about 2 to 4 minutes. The amount of time it takes can vary significantly depending on local weather and water conditions, as well as the weight of the cremated remains. The heavier the cremated remains, the quicker the urn will sink. Rough waters with substantial waves can also cause the urn to sink quicker, in some cases it can be almost immediately.
Voyager Urn products are made up of organic paper, cotton or jute materials that will biodegrade naturally over time. Within a week of being submerged in water the Voyager Urn will hardly be recognisable. Depending on local water conditions it can take anywhere between 3 to 10 weeks to completely degrade.
The water soluble ash bag contained in the urn will dissolve in a matter of minutes once submerged in water and within days will begin to gradually release the ashes into the environment as the urn biodegrades.
The urn should be dispersed only in deep water that's more than 10 metres deep. Lakes less than 10 metres deep are considered "Shallow Water Lakes". It can take weeks for the urn to completely break down and if dispersed in shallow waters it could potentially be washed ashore before the decomposition process is complete.
When it comes to dispersing biodegradable ash urns at sea, it's recommended that it be done at least 2 nautical miles from shore. As a general rule a similar distance applies to lakes. For smaller lakes less than 2 nautical miles wide, simply go out to the centre of the lake where it will be the deepest.
It's never recommended to simply toss the urn off of a pier or wharf, therefore you'll usually need access to a boat in order to perform the task. You can hire a small boat or even a yacht charter service that can accommodate up to 50 or more guests. Some charter services even include a fully licensed bar and can also provide catering. Fees for yachts or large boat charters typically start at around $300.00 per hour, with a min of 2 - 4 hours often required (drinks and catering are extra).
It can take anywhere from 2-6 months depending on local soil and environmental conditions. Generally the more moisture in the soil, the quicker the urn will decompose. How deep the urn is buried can also be factor, typically the closer to the surface the more moisture the soil will contain due to rainfalls, etc. In most cases burying the urn about 30 to 40 cm should be suffice.
The water soluble ash bag will instantly begin to dissolve once it comes in contact with any moisture or water.
Definition: a substance or object capable of being broken down (decomposed) in nature within a relatively short period of time by the action of microorganisms, thereby avoiding pollution.
In order for a product to be labeled as "Biodegradable" it should completely decompose within 1 year and release very little or no toxins into the environment.
Among the most biodegradable manufactured products are those based on natural materials, such as paper, cotton or jute. These substances typically biodegrade within 1-6 months depending on the environment in which they're dispersed, when submerged in water they will generally decompose much faster compared to being buried on land.
Our Voyager Urn products are made up of paper, cotton or jute so they ascertain maximum biodegradable capabilities and are as eco-friendly as possible.
New Zealand currently has very few bylaws or restrictions when it comes to the scattering or dispersal of ashes, including the use of biodegradable urns.
In most countries the use of biodegradable urns is becoming the most accepted and preferred method for dispersing ashes.
To avoid any potential backlash or repercussions it's important to dispose ashes and urns in a responsible manner and respect any local policies or restrictions in regards to public use sites or areas within their district.
For more info refer to our page on the Scattering and Dispersal of Ashes
Research and studies have determined that cremated remains are non-toxic and do not pose a health hazard to humans and are also not considered a bio-hazard to the environment. In fact, they are a natural substance rich in phosphates, calcium, and sodium. There's even some scientific evidence that suggests cremated remains can actually be beneficial to the soil when properly mixed or blended into the soil.
However, scattering ashes by tossing them directly onto the surface of landscapes has the potential of creating a negative impact on plant life, especially fragile plants like flowers, shrubs and grass. If high concentrates of sodium lands directly onto plants it can cause the plant to dehydrate and eventually wilt and die. It causes a similar effect if we over-fertilise our lawn since most fertilisers are comprised of salts.
Any harm cremated remains poses to the environment has more to do with the location and manner in which they are being disposed. There has been first-hand accounts that supports the negative impact scattering ashes can have on flowers in botanic gardens, for this reason many local jurisdictions have imposed bylaws and restrictions on scattering ashes in botanic gardens and some other public use areas.
It's important to try and make a conscience effort to dispose the ashes of our loved-ones in a responsible manner that's respectful of the environment as well as the general public.
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