Do-It-Yourself Sustainability

By Allison Macon,
USGBC-Missouri Gateway Program Committee

Do you fret over the green house gasses released every morning when you drive your car to work? Do you mutter to yourself, “Geez! Why haven’t I set up my composting system yet?” while you grind valuable nutrients down the disposal? Have you experienced anguish while watering your garden with tap water when your new rain barrel sits, uninstalled, in your garage?

If you can relate to the emotional roller coaster described above, you might be experiencing the modern phenomena known as “green guilt.”

A recent study by Call2Recycle determined American “green guilt” has doubled within the last three years and now afflicts 1/3 of Americans, regardless of age, race or gender.

That translates to roughly 104.2 million additional particles of guilt added to the atmosphere by the US alone. These particles are now dispersed within our environment, almost certainly doing terrible damage to the ozone layer. (This hasn’t been scientifically proven yet, but I’m sure studies will begin in Scandinavia soon).
Luckily, the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter (USGBC-MO Gateway) is teaming up with St. Louis Earth Day and St. Louis Green to offer a safe and effective treatment for “green guilt.” On Tuesday, June 12th, they will present “Do It Yourself Sustainability” where six local presenters will showcase their creative and inspiring DIY projects – sharing ideas for sustainable projects you can do at home to jumpstart your own personal green revolution.

Hunter Beckham will showcase the green roof he installed on his garage which expands his growing space and absorbs storm water on site. Hector Caiazza will explain how an old, gas guzzling automobile can be transformed into an efficient electric car. Joshua Davis will explore how to grow plants and harvest fish in an aquaponics system. Timothy Dolan will show you how to save energy by weatherizing your home. Jenny Murphy will illustrate how to turn local trash into functional objects and Richard Reilly will inspire you to remodel your kitchen using unwanted furniture.

Each presenter will keep up the enthusiasm by presenting in the Pecha Kucha style. PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.

Take control over your battle with “green guilt.” Join us at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, 2319 Chouteau, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63103 from 5:30 to 7:30pm on Tuesday, June 12! Light appetizers and wine provided.
To learn more or to RSVP, please visit www.usgbc-mogateway.org or give us a call at 314-577-0225.