Green Homes Festival Returns To Missouri Botanical Garden

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.

Children and families can have fun building a sun-powered miniature race car and decorate recycled tiles donated by the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Sample treats cooked in solar ovens, and snap your photo with costumed characters!

Explore the NatureScaping area to learn ways to grow a livelier, healthier yard or patio environment using native plants. Exhibits in this area will feature water-saving RainScaping options, and backyard biodiversity resources to restore wildlife habitat. Guided sustainability tours of the Center for Home Gardening’s demonstration gardens will visit the compost area, bee hives, solar power installation, rain barrels and more.
A roster of interactive “Presentations to the People” from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will cover useful topics such as keeping backyard chickens; solar electricity and solar technology; home energy efficiency; sustainability of natural gas; transforming invasive bush honeysuckle into fun tables; lighting efficiency; transit options; NatureScaping resources, and composting at home. New this year: the festival will showcase presentations in the Garden’s new PlantLab featuring speakers with a DIY focus covering green cleaning; inspired reuse; and talking “green” with your home builder.

Enjoy a free, all-levels yoga class from 9 to 10 a.m., hosted by STL non-profit Yoga Buzz. Bring your own yoga mat or towel.

Local food vendors serving healthy treats and beverages will include Urban Eats Café, Capitalist Pig BBQ, and Ices Plain & Fancy. Bring your reusable bottle and get free water refills. Recycling and composting will reduce the festival’s “waste-line.”
Volunteer help is welcome for festival preparation and operation. Email volunteer coordinator Kat Golden at katherine.golden@mobot.org or find volunteering details online at www.mobot.org/greenhomesfest.

Consider cycling to this event! Bike St. Louis routes along Shaw and Tower Grove connect to routes through Tower Grove Park, along Grand, and on Macklind Avenue. The Garden provides convenient free bicycle parking.

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 $4 thereafter. Garden member admission is free.

The Green Homes Festival is hosted by the Garden’s EarthWays Center. EarthWays promotes sustainability through environmental education and improving the built environment, providing resources for homeowners, businesses, the green building industry, municipalities, kindergarten through 12th grade schools, and colleges and universities.

We thank our presenting sponsor Ameren Missouri and festival sponsors Laclede Gas Company, MSD Project Clear, and The Healthy Planet magazine.

For scheduling updates and complete details about the Green Homes Festival, visit www.mobot.org/greenhomesfest.