2014 Green Homes Festival Set for June 7 at Missouri Botanical Garden

Green Homes Festival

By Jean Ponzi

This 13th annual celebration of sustainable living spotlights our region’s top options for Greening up your home and lifestyle – in one resource-packed day of family fun!
New features for this year’s event start with our new spring date and inspiring new location: the beautiful grounds and building of the Garden’s William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening.

Kemper Center’s own Green elements – from solar power to rainwater harvesting – will be joined by more than 70 displays and exhibits. Bring your home project ideas and talk with the St. Louis area’s experts on:

  • Solar, wind and geothermal renewable energy systems
  • Energy efficient lighting and appliances
  • Cool roof retro-fits
  • Efficient windows, insulation and weatherization
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Green home building and remodeling materials and methods
  • Home energy auditing
  • RainScaping and other clean water strategies
  • Non-toxic home cleaning and decorating products
  • Recycling and waste reduction
  • Cycling and other transportation alternatives.

A new Naturescaping area will spotlight native plant-based options to save water, boost biodiversity, and cut your yard-work chore list – beautifully!
Stroll the Kemper Center’s demonstration gardens at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. with a Master Gardener as your Green-features guide. The Plant Doctors will diagnose your gardening issues, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Discover houseplants that will thrive while cleaning indoor air and beautifying every part of your home, for “thumbs” of any color.
Fast-paced, interactive Presentations to the People will cover topics ranging from backyard permaculture and cooking with natural gas to socially responsible investing – and much more.

Kids and families can explore Nature In Your Neighborhood activities in the Brookings Interpretive Center, build and race a sun-powered miniature roadster and have fun with recycled material art projects. All ages can sample s’mores cooked in solar ovens and snap photos with costumed recycling characters.

What transportation alternatives might work for you? Find ideas in the Great Rivers Greenway Get Around Green area. Cycle to the festival and take advantage of convenient free bicycle parking!
Enjoy live music from Wack-A-Doo and that twistin’ witty green-glitz Earth hunk, Eco Elvis.

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 1,500 attendees will get a free reusable shopping bag.

The Eat Well Local Food Court will serve popular beverages and healthy treats. 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, June 6. Training is provided. Volunteers will receive a Garden Events t-shirt and complimentary beverages. Sign up online!

The Green Homes 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.

Free Electronics and Appliances Recycling – 9 am – noon
Midwest Recycling Center (MRC) will responsibly recycle
“anything with a cord.” Drop-off site is at 4651 Shaw,
two blocks west of the Garden.

The Green Homes Festival is brought to you by Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center and presented by Ameren Missouri. Major sponsors also include Laclede Gas. Media sponsors include The Healthy Planet magazine, Metro / Bi-State Development, and The Riverfront Times.

Visit www.mobot.org/greenhomesfest for all event details.