CREATIVE ALTERNATIVES

A mass release of beautiful flowers in a stream, lake, or ocean will create a photo-worthy moment that’s a touching tribute to the departed. For maximum environmental friendliness, choose locally-grown flowers rather than imported ones.

Float flowers in water

take a stick and write in the wet sand on the shore of a lake or ocean. This can be part of a larger memorial service on a beach, and everyone attending can write their words of love to the departed. The waves will wash them away, symbolically sending the message along. 

Write in the sand

 One person blowing bubbles is fun, but get a crowd together, all blowing bubbles, and you can create a magical experience. For even more impact, add a few giant bubble wands to the mix.

Make soap bubbles

Blowing bubbles

Everyone can receive a piece of paper on which to write the message that they would have attached to a helium balloon. Everyone can then take turns placing their messages into the fire. As the notes burn, the rising flames and the sparks spiraling upward will offer the effect of sending the messages to the heavens.

Have a ceremonial bonfire

create a lasting impact by organizing a memorial fundraiser for your loved one’s favorite cause. It could be a hike or 5k, a trivia night, a pancake breakfast, or any other favorite fundraising activity.

Plan a fundraiser

Seed paper is a kind of paper you can buy or make that’s embedded with seeds, which grow once it’s placed on soil and kept watered. It might have wildflower seeds, or vegetables, or herbs. Gather friends and family to write their messages to the deceased on the seed paper. Then, you can plant them together in a place you’d like to beautify

Purchase seed paper

Write/plant on seed paper

The sight of dozens or hundreds of candles lit just after sunset is a memorable one, and you can commemorate your lost loved one this way. You may also want to provide drip protectors for the candles. You can make these from recycled paper or cardboard by cutting out a circle and cutting an X in the middle to fit the candle through.

Hold a candlelight vigil

Planting a tree will beautify the landscape and sequester carbon for years to come. Mourners can gather to plant a tree together — or a grove of trees, if space is available.

Arbor Day Foundation

Plant a tree

Ladybugs offer natural pest control, making them a lovely and practical tribute to someone who loved to garden. They may not fly away in a symbolic heavenly flight like butterflies — ladybugs do tend to crawl out of their container rather than fly. But you can take comfort in knowing you’re not harming the bugs you’re releasing.

Nature's Way Ladybugs

Release ladybugs

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