2013 Green Homes, Great Health Festival set for September 28 At Missouri Botanical Garden

Green Homes Festival

by Jean Ponzi

This 12th 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!
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
  • RainScaping with native plants
  • Composting and soil amendments
  • Alternative vehicle and fuel options
  • Bicycle transportation;
  • Green jobs – and more!

Perennial staff will lead NEW DIY Sustainability activities, where you can make-and-take Clean Air Cleaner, a non-toxic alternative to commercial all-purpose cleaning products, draft-stopping Window Worms and other practical items. Fast-paced, interactive Presentations to the People will cover topics ranging from backyard biodiversity to home weatherization, urban homesteading to renewable energy — and much more.

The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine will offer free health assessments, 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.”

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 s’mores cooked in solar ovens and snap photos with Ameren’s Louie the Lightning Bug and costumed recycling characters. Explore EVie the Electric Vehicle from the St. Louis Science Center. 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 with the Screwed Arts Collective; the finished work will travel the streets of St. Louis throughout the year. A green vehicle show will showcase electric and alternative fuel cars and trucks, and the chance to talk with owners about their vehicles’ performance. Cycle to the festival and take advantage of convenient free bicycle parking!

Enjoy the live music of Letter to Memphis and other local artists 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 2,000 attendees will get a free reusable shopping bag.

The Eat Well Local Food Court will serve favorites, healthy treats and beverages from Lulu’s Local Eatery, Schlafly Brewery and others. 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 27. 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. Sign up online!
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’s EarthWays Center and presented by Ameren Missouri. Major sponsors also include Electrical Connection, Laclede Gas, Microgrid Solar, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 and SMACNA-St. Louis, Siteman Cancer Center, and St. Louis Regional Clean Air Partnership. Media sponsors include The Healthy Planet, KHITS 96.3, Riverfront Times and St. Louis Magazine.
Visit www.mobot.org/greenhomesfest for all event details.

New in 2013

  • Principia College solar car and racing team
  • Planet Party Photo Booth – free!
  • Yoga led by Elle Potter of Yoga 6 – 9-10 am
  • Radio Disney Rockin’ Road Crew – all day
  • Meet Fredbird – 11:30 am-noon

Free Electronics Recycling
9 am –2 pm
MRC will recycle “anything with a cord.” Ameren Missouri’s ActOnEnergy program will recycle window air conditioning units and dehumidifiers. Drop-off site is at 4651 Shaw, two blocks west of the Garden.

Free Healthy Planet Expo Tickets
Attendees at the Green Homes, Great Health Festival have the opportunity to pick up FREE TICKETS to the Healthy Planet Natural Living Expo, set for Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Webster Groves Recreation Complex in Webster Groves. For more information on the Expo, call 314-962-7748.