Green Funerals in Columbia

Posted on May 31, 2016 by MayFuneral under Blog Posts
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Green Funerals in Columbia

Green funerals

Missouri might not be the first place you think of when going green, but many cities including Columbia have changed that. The amount of effort that the city and local businesses have put in creating green alternatives to products and services is impressive. It should not come as a surprise that green funerals in Columbia, Mo would be the next step for citizens of Columbia. Many though are unaware of what a green funeral is or how it can impact the environment.


What is a Green Funeral?

Green funerals

Green funerals help reduce the impact on the environment by eliminating chemicals or materials that could potentially be harmful. For example, by eliminating dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde, we eliminate the possibility that carcinogens are being released into the ground. This actually helps reduce the chances that funeral home directors get sick from illnesses such as myeloid leukemia as shown by a study done in 2009 by the National Cancer Institute (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2009).

This however doesn’t mean that the embalmig process is completely neglected or unused, as a matter of fact a number of environment friendly products have been created in order to replace those products. Some of them are biodegradable and have even gotten the Green Burial Council’s seal of approval. The alternatives are plenty and some even use completely oil based substances. What gives more credence to these methods is that they are regularly practiced around the world (GBC, n.d.).

Another part of green funerals is what the deceased is being buried in. Burial vaults, concrete and other metallic substances may not always be the best materials to place in the ground. Although all these materials can essentially be found in nature, they are not always the most biodegradable materials. Substitutions of more traditional materials in caskets, to more Eco-friendly ones such as wicker as well as various types of wood, often prove a better choice for the environment.


What does this say about other burials?

The question often arises after people understand the details of a green funeral is “should I have a green funeral?” The truth is the real question should be “Are green funerals right for me?”.  The funeral preparations that someone chooses are a very personal affair and no one should ever shame you for whatever choice you choose. This being said, there are choices that are definitely Eco-friendlier than others and that will help the world you leave behind. What’s more, there are more and more technologies that are coming out that help in the ever increasing demand for green services.  Everyone is different, their beliefs are different and the way they see they want to be remembered is different.


What’s important to remember

The most important thing is to think and plan ahead for your burial. Given the sensitive nature of burials as well as the difficulty in speaking about them, many people don’t plan their funerals ahead of time.  Without dialogue, there is no discovery and without discovery, many people will never find out about what options are available in terms of different types of burials, including green burials. That’s why it is important to have these discussions and to investigate what type of burial is best for you.


HT May & Son funeral home has helped families and loved ones through the grieving process for more than a century. We have locations in Columbia, Boonville, Sedalia and serve the Fayette Missouri area. To find out about how to plan ahead, contact us today.


The funeral business that became H.T. May & Son was founded in Boonville in 1911 by Riley Martin; great-great uncle of Tom May. Following the death of Riley Martin, his nephew; Holwell J. May took over the reins of the business and continued to operate it until his death in 1974. After the death of Holwell, his son H.T. May began to run the business. When H.T. died in 2005, son Thomas E. May began to run the business and is now the fourth generation to operate May Funeral Homes. The newest location, in Columbia, opened in April 2009. Thomas, was married in November 19 of 2011 to Pastor Jennifer Baker. Jennifer is a pre-need specialist for the business and currently pursing her funeral directors license. Thomas also has two sisters; Kathryn May who is a licensed funeral director and Melodia Whitmore. Thomas has three children; Holwell J. May II, who graduated from KCKCC with his Mortuary Science Degree, and is now a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, Brittany N. May, and Jeremiah Baker. May and staff are are dedicated to serving families from all ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs in a personalized manner, with knowledgeable, caring, and professional staff.

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