Green Homes, Great Health Festival At Missouri Botanical Garden Sept. 29

by Jean Ponzi

Green Homes Great Health

This 11th annual celebration of sustainable living brings together our region’s top options for protecting and improving health for people and the planet – in one resource-packed day of family fun Sept. 29 from 9 am to 4 pm.

Discuss your home improvement ideas with our region’s experts on all things Green. More than 100 displays and exhibits by local businesses and non-profit organizations 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
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Green home building materials and methods
  • Home energy auditing
  • Non-toxic home cleaning and decorating products
  • Recycling and waste reduction
  • Native plant landscaping
  • Composting and soil amendments
  • Alternative vehicle and fuel options
  • Bicycle transportation;
  • Green jobs – and more!

A roster of lively, interactive Presentations to the People from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will cover topics ranging from backyard chickens to rain barrels, home weatherization to benefits of natural gas, eating locally in the Show-Me State to first steps for pursuing solar, and more.

The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine will offer free health screenings, prevention resources and opportunities to talk one-on-one with health experts about your health concerns and the “8 Ways to Stay Healthy and Prevent Cancer.” Barnes-Jewish Hospital will offer free flu shots (ages six months and older), on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last with no registration required.

Children and families can get in on the fun by building a sun-powered miniature roadster to compete in the popular solar car races. Sample treats cooked in solar ovens and snap photos with costumed recycling characters. Join in recycled art activities and enjoy sustainability-themed puppet shows, storytelling and face painting.

Festival guests of all ages can paint an eco-mural on a Metro bus alongside artist and local farmer Eric Stevens; the finished work will travel the streets of St. Louis throughout the year. A green vehicle show will feature electric and alternative fuel cars and trucks, along with the opportunity to talk with owners about their vehicles’ performance. Cycle to the festival and take advantage of convenient free bicycle parking.

Enjoy old-time string band tunes by the Buckhannon Brothers and the recycled-instrument talents of Ryan Spearman at the music tent. Shop the HOME Made – HOME Grown Green Marketplace featuring home décor and gifts made by area crafters and produce grown by local farmers. The Garden Gate Shop will feature fair trade and recycled-content clothing and gifts, along with plants to refresh and beautify your home. The first 1,000 attendees will get a free reusable shopping bag.

The Eat Well Local Food Court will serve favorites, healthy treats and beverages from Chipotle Mexican Grill, Local Harvest Café, The Farmers’ Larder, Schlafly Brewery, The Royale and others. Chipotle will demonstrate making healthy salsa at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Bring your reusable water bottle and get free refills. Recycling and composting will reduce the festival’s “waste-line.”

Volunteers are needed to help with a variety of enjoyable jobs throughout the festival day and during exhibitor set-up on Friday, September 28. Training is provided. Volunteers will receive a sustainably made t-shirt, complimentary beverages, food vouchers and an invitation to a thank-you party at Schlafly Bottleworks.

The Green Homes & Great Health Festival is included with Missouri Botanical Garden admission of $8 for adults, free for children ages 12 and under. St. Louis City and County residents enjoy free admission on Saturday before noon and are $4 thereafter. Missouri Botanical Garden members are free.

The Green Homes & Great Health Festival is brought to you by Missouri Botanical Garden and presented by Ameren Missouri. Major sponsors also include Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Laclede Gas Company, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 and SMACNA St. Louis, Siteman Cancer Center, the Riverfront Times and The Healthy Planet magazine.

Visit www.greenhomesSTL.org for event details.