Saturday, June 4th, 9am–4pm. Bringing Sustainability Home — For All Ages!
By Jean Ponzi
The 15th annual Green Homes Festival returns to the Missouri Botanical Garden on Saturday, June 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will discover affordable, practical options for sustainable living combined with positive ways to maintain personal well-being and a healthy planet.
This popular event fills the blooming walkways around the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening, highlighting the connections between plant-based green-living ideas and solutions to energy, water and waste issues. Festival attendees completing an event “passport” by visiting all exhibit areas will get a free gift!
Presented by Ameren Missouri and sponsored by many local partners, this festival showcases the region’s leading businesses and organizations focused on Greening at home. You can talk one-on-one with experts about your project ideas to protect the environment while conserving household budgets.
More than 40 sustainability-themed exhibits and demonstrations will offer information about solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy systems; energy efficient lighting and appliances; cool roof retro-fits; efficient windows, insulation and weatherization. Explore options in heating and cooling systems; green home building materials and methods; home energy auditing; non-toxic home cleaning and decorating products; reducing waste by recycling, composting, and creatively “Upcycling.”
Ameren Missouri, the Green Homes Festival presenting sponsor, will showcase a variety of energy efficiency programs that help homeowners and businesses reduce their energy costs and get cash back.
By Terry Winkelmann
You may have heard of — or even gone on — a unique event in St. Louis called The Sustainable Backyard Tour. This year, June 12th will be the sixth year for the tour a free open-house-style peek into private yards and gardens throughout the city and county.
Why is it called a Backyard Tour instead of a Garden Tour? A home’s outdoor space has a great impact on the environment–from the energy consumed in mowing or transporting decorative stones from across the world to the way we manage water and dispose of waste. Many of our hosts are avid gardeners, but there’s much more to consider.
A sustainable, or eco-friendly yard, at its most basic causes minimal harm to the environment in its creation and maintenance. Ideally, the Sustainable Backyard uses water wisely; encourages beneficial insects and soil microorganisms; eschews synthetic pesticides, transforms kitchen waste into compost; employs human- or solar-powered equipment to mow and trim; builds with sustainable or recycled materials; minimizes the use of resource-intensive lawns and non-native plants and demonstrates responsible backyard abundance, organically growing or raising food.
By showcaseing healthy examples of chemical-free, organic landscapes, the tour sets out to encourage and inspire. It’s the “I can do that” tour! Self-nominating, hosts showcase best practices for plant selection, waste reduction, habitat protection, resource conservation and more. You’ll see it all: from lawn alternatives, imaginative uses for recycled materials, natural beekeeping, and growing fruit and vegies, to rainwater harvesting, renewable energy production, and of course, chickens!
The number of hosts varies each year, but there are always more than 20 from which to choose. Experience levels and approaches vary, too, from those just getting started — where you can learn how to plan a layout or solarize a lawn to well-established urban paradises.
You can read the hosts’ descriptions online beginning in June, then design your own route and set your own pace, choosing addresses closest to you or to your interests.
By Ginny Mueller
There is nothing so calming and peaceful as the sound of gently moving water. If it doesn’t exist in their current environments, members of the St. Louis Water Gardening Society create their own serenity in their water gardens—and once a year, they are willing to show everyone how sweet it is. The 16th annual Pond-O-Rama will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day. This year 47 ponds and gardens will be featured; 19 are new on tour this year.
Our members are passionate about water gardening and enjoy working to make their water features a special place to be. If you are thinking of creating a water feature, or you just want to enjoy beautiful gardens, ponds, and waterfalls, then you will definitely enjoy this tour. Our members spend many weeks in preparation for the event, and they are delighted to share their ideas, successes, and their challenges with the public.
The water features of our members span the metro area. We are sure there will be one or more that you will thoroughly love! On this year’s tour, there are pondless waterfalls, small-medium and extensive ponds, gentle trickling streams, and quiet gentle waterfalls. Many of the water features include unique plant designs and beautiful koi and goldfish.
In the ponds and in the surrounding landscapes are some of the most glorious gardens in the St. Louis area—a pleasure for gardeners and wildlife alike. Birds, butterflies and glorious photo opportunities abound! As always, a part of the attraction will be the blooming gardens and landscapes surrounding the water features and the interesting individual whimsical touches that make each garden on tour special. This year a number of our members are also on tour for the American Hosta Society National Convention tour held here in St Louis. So you know these are very unique water features and gardens!
June 11 At The St. Louis Riverfront
The 10th Annual St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival is the premiere showcase of the St. Louis beer scene. This festival features over 100 styles of beer from over 40+ STL-based breweries, as well as exclusive brewery collaborations and home brew club tastings, live music and great food all in an idyllic setting beneath the Gateway Arch along the Mississippi River.
May 1st – June 10th, 2016
$37.50 General Admission -
$50 Early Entry (Additional Hour)
Day-Of Ticketing (If Not Sold Out)
June 11th, 2016
$45 General Admission -
$60 Early Entry (Additional Hour)
For Group Sales email email@example.com
Article courtesy of the Clean Air Partnership
Last October, the Environ-mental Protection Agency (EPA) strengthened the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb), down from 75 ppb, in an effort to further protect public health. As the St. Louis area settles into its first air quality forecasting season highlighted by these stricter standards, the region is bracing itself for the possibility of more poor air quality days this summer than in recent years.
“The American Lung Association’s 2016 State of the Air report ranked St. Louis as the 18th most polluted metropolitan area in the nation for ozone pollution, once again confirming what a critical concern air pollution continues to be locally,” said Susannah Fuchs, Director, Clean Air, for the American Lung Association in Missouri and spokesperson for the Clean Air Partnership. “With the EPA’s stricter ozone standards now in effect, our area has the potential to see many more orange and red poor air quality days this season.”
With the updated standards top of mind, the Clean Air Partnership is ramping up its efforts to encourage area residents to check the daily forecast to protect their health, and to do their part to help reduce emissions to keep air quality in the healthy range.
Since transportation has the most profound impact on air quality, making the choice to spend less time behind the wheel is an easy way to reduce the emissions that lead to poor air quality. Actions like using transit, carpooling and vanpooling, choosing not to idle your vehicle, combining errands into a single trip, walking and biking more, telecommuting and/or adjusting work hours, so you can stay off the road at peak commute times, all help take cars off area roads and the related emissions out of our air. These actions are especially critical when poor air quality conditions are in the forecast. In addition, there are many eco-friendly lifestyle changes that can further positively impact air quality, including efforts to conserve energy, recycle, reduce waste and reuse items.