Alternative To Traditional Funerals

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COLUMBIA - A green cemetery is another alternative to traditional burial. Bill Goddard worked for a cemetery for a year, and realized he did not like the way burials are currently being handled. "When someone passes you need to have 125 questions that need to be answered in three days and you're going through one of the worst periods in your life," said Goddard. That's why Goddard and his friend Chuck Worstell developed the first green cemetery in Missouri, Green Acres.

Green Acres, located West of Columbia doesn't require embalming or vaults. The body is buried directly in the ground in a biodegradable and nontoxic casket. "No plastic. No metal. No chemicals. Everything goes back into the earth," said Goddard.

Goddard said green burials are catching on, but slowly. "It's coming but it's not a Mickey D. You're not gonna see a bunch of franchises. It's a slow growth. But it fulfills a need of certain people." 

Green burials fulfill the needs of those looking for a more environmentally friendly burial, and can also cost significantly less. Minister Thomas E. May, one of the co owners of H.T May and Son Funeral Home said a traditional burial would cost about $6000 to $8000. Green burials on the other hand, according to Goddard, will not cost more than $1500. "I don't see it as a competitor. It is just another service that we can offer to consumers," said May.

Pastor Jennifer L. May, the other co owner of H.T May and Son Funeral Home said she thinks green burial appeals to the younger crowd. "I believe that the younger generation are more eco-friendly. They'll probably take a liking to the green services." 

You can get more information on Green Burial on Goddard's website at Pushing Up Daisies.