Spread Your Ashes to Help Protect a Forest

Better Place Forests

Planning a memorial for yourself, your family, or even a beloved pet is never an easy thing. Leave it to Silicon Valley to come up with a greener, more peaceful alternative to your standard cemetery burial and protect a wild forest in the process. Better Place Forests lets you choose an exclusive family tree where you will be able to spread the ashes of your loved ones.

San Francisco start-up Better Place Forests plans to create a network of so-called spreading forests throughout California. These are privately owned and permanently protected forest where families can spread the ashes of their loved ones under private family trees. The forest is professionally landscaped and trees are replanted when they die. The forest will never be redeveloped, so you can be assured you and your family will always have a place to go.

Better Place Forests offers you an alternative to cemeteries and traditional spreading options. Instead of spreading ashes in the wild, the forest gives your family some place peaceful to go visit and in a much more natural environment.

The company’s first forest, opening soon, is a redwood forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Mendocino County, California. Here, you can choose the type of tree you want (redwood, Douglas fir, or tanoak), accessibility (wilderness, pathway, or premium pathway), and the number of spreading rights (i.e., how many people).

Once you have chosen your tree, it is GPS marked and exclusively yours to create a natural memorial for you, your family, and even pets. Your tree is marked with a memorial marker placed in front of it to remember your loved ones.

Better Place Forests takes care of the spreading of the ashes around your tree but your family is welcome to be present. Prices start at $2000 for a tree for a couple and their pets in the wilderness area, and goes up to $16,000 for a family-sized redwood on one of the premium pathways.

Better Place Forests hopes to have quite a few more protected forest options across California within the next 2-3 years.

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