Getting Green with the Missouri Historical Society

Gabbing with Angela Moore, the facilities and sustainability coordinator for the Missouri Historical Society. She works to create more sustainable programs and facilitate more sustainable initiatives for the Historical Society. As Angela pointed out, it’s important to preserve history and culture, and to do that you have to preserve the earth so it’s here for many generations to come.

One of the Historical Society’s goals is to make history accessible to all. Pair that with their core value of being good stewards and advocates for sustainability, and it just makes sense to look to the past and the future. The Society’s focus permeates all of the areas under their umbrella, including the Missouri History Museum, Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, and Library & Research Center. In fact, the new Soldiers Memorial Military Museum is expecting a LEED certification, so the Society is really putting into practice their goals and values.

Sustainability at Missouri Historical Society

During her time with the Society, Angela has effectively brought their sustainable actions to the forefront of the community, showcasing the impact those efforts are having.

The Missouri Historical Society also participates in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge and has been involved since its early days. In fact, in 2017, they won the St. Louis Green Business Challenge award, champion level. That win invigorated the Missouri Historical Society to do more and share more.


Missouri Historical Society

Missouri History Museum

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum

Library & Research Center

St. Louis Green Business Challenge

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Read or listen to the full podcast below.

Marla:                   Welcome to the Green Home podcast today. I’m Marla Esser Cloos, the Green Home coach. In studio in St. Louis with

Tony Pratte:          Tony Pratte from the sound room. It’s been a while since we’ve done this.

Marla:                   I know. This is my highlight of coming back to St. Louis, my other home.

Tony Pratte:          It’s my highlight when you come back too.

Marla:                   Aw! That’s so sweet.

Tony Pratte:          Plus it gets me out of the office.

Marla:                   That’s always a good thing, isn’t it?

Tony Pratte:          Just being honest.

Marla:                   Hey, you gotta have a fun part of your life, right?

Tony Pratte:          Oh, and this is probably the … I would say this is the most fun I do is things like this. The podcast-

Marla:                   Aw, keep buttering me up.

Tony Pratte:          Yeah, out taking pictures. You know

Marla:                   We do a lot of that too.

Tony Pratte:          As far as all the things I do in my job, this is definitely one of the most fun.

Marla:                   So for all you listeners out there that don’t know this little nugget of trivia, Tony took a lot of the pictures that are in my book, Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home. And-

Tony Pratte:          It’s my photography credit!

Marla:                   You want to see some of his work, you can go out there. There’s a couple other people that contributed photographs, but a ton of them from Tony. So hey, you know, the book won an award!

Tony Pratte:          Did it? Oh that’s right, it did!

Marla:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Tony Pratte:          I remember that now.

Marla:                   Won a Ben Franklin Silver Award. Such a cool thing. It was unbelievable. So. Didn’t even know the book could win an award. Never even thought about it.

Tony Pratte:          And congrats to you.

Marla:                   Thank you.

Tony Pratte:          It is a very well written book.

Marla:                   Thank you.

Tony Pratte:          I told you, I’ve used it as an academic research credit.

Marla:                   You need to write a testimonial for us please!

Tony Pratte:          I know. You gotta catch me when I’m not in class. And you have to remind me to do it.

Marla:                   Well, and okay. So we have to make sure that we give our guest a book too, so.

Tony Pratte:          Yeah, that’ll help.

Marla:                   Yeah, you need to have one, Angela. So any rate, here I am, not being very polite. Angela is in studio with us today. Angela is joining us from the Missouri Historical Museum. Did I say that right? ‘Cause we have so many names for that place.

Angela:                 Yes, it’s actually really the Missouri Historical Society, but the Missouri Historical Museum is an entity of the Missouri Historical Society.

Tony Pratte:          So the historical society is the umbrella.

Marla:                   I gotcha.

Angela:                 Yeah, so we’ve rebranded. And we have put our best foot forward from the socks that I gave you earlier. For the show.

Marla:                   The best foot forward. Ha! I love it. Well introduce yourself formally [crosstalk 00:02:59]

Tony Pratte:          And that’s what it says on the socks! That’s great!

Marla:                   Okay, we’ll try to post a picture of the socks. ‘Cause they’re pretty cute.

Angela:                 So I’m Angela Moore, I’m the facilities and sustainability coordinator for the Missouri Historical Society. And I work to do more sustainable programs and to facilitate more sustainable initiatives for the historical society.

Marla:                   And why is that important to the historical society?

Angela:                 It’s very important to preserve history and to preserve culture you need to work to preserve the Earth that we’re on now for the generations to come. And so that is very important for the historical society to preserve not only history and culture, but preserve our Earth.

Marla:                   Okay. So that, I love that. Because sustainability is about preserving things for the future.

Angela:                 Yes.

Marla:                   And that’s exactly what the historical society is all about. What a perfect mission. Don’t you love it when things align?

Tony Pratte:          Well, I do. You know, you think about it. I mean, that’s a great tie in to everything.

Marla:                   Yeah!

Tony Pratte:          You know, that just ties into your mission 100%.

Marla:                   Wow.

Angela:                 Most definitely. And our mission is to make history accessible to all. Well, that’s one of our goals, not our mission. But one of our core values is to be good stewards, but to also be advocates of sustainability. And so when we have those core value align, we work to make sure that we do that. If it’s one of your core values in your mission, then you move forward with that.

Marla:                   My husband and I went out to the museum yesterday. I hadn’t been out there in a while. I said, “Hey, Angela’s coming on the podcast tomorrow, we should go check it out.” And it was really fun! History was fun, people! And then you think, oh my gosh, they’re doing all this great stuff behind the scenes to help us preserve our history and preserve our everything from now for the future. It was really sweet. I really enjoyed that, and it’s such an iconic piece of St. Louis history to begin with. You walk in, this huge statue of Thomas Jefferson, and very imposing. It was a fun afternoon.

Angela:                 Good! And I hope that you found yourself, that’s one of our new tag lines. Everyone has a piece of history at the Missouri History Museum. Or, at the library of research center. Or at the Soldier’s Memorial Military Museum, which is opening later this year.

Marla:                   I was going to say, i thought that was reopening. So that’s … My daughter had something to do with that. I can’t remember exactly what her role was. But I’m excited to hear-

Tony Pratte:          Was your daughter’s firm maybe the architect that helped design a lot of that?

Marla:                   They may have been working something, yeah. They may have.

Angela:                 Yes. Because the Soldier’s Memorial Military Museum, we are expecting a LEED certification for that building. So we are very excited about all of the sustainable practices that have went into the Soldier’s Memorial Military Museum. Yes. It’s beautiful.

Marla:                   Ooh, I can’t wait.

Angela:                 I’m excited.

Tony Pratt:          Yeah, that was gonna be my question. Because when you handed us this brochure, my first thought when Marla told me you were coming on is, “Oh, history museum.” But I had no idea that all three of these were connected. Both the history museum, the soldier’s memorial, and the library. And the research center.

Angela:                 Yes. And all of them have a very strong sustainability program for each of them. And for the Missouri History Museum, it’s within our operations. Within the library and research center, it’s also with our operations. But our collection is also there as well. And then within soldier’s memorial, the LEED certification. So we know that that’s an integrated plan to make sustainability a part of all of operation.

Tony Pratte:          And I would think too if you were doing any kind of major revisions, or additions, or remodeling, or whatever at both the other facilities you’d do the same thing.

Angela:                 Yes.

Tony Pratte:          It was just like when the art museum did theirs, their big edition, it was all do through a sustainable construction plan.

Marla:                   Yup.

Angela:                 And it’s only fitting that one would do so if you are to be preservers of history, then you would want to go and we always go through LEED. LEED is kind of like the grandfather of them all. Yes.

Tony Pratte:          Yeah, when you’re doing a commercial building, that’s it. It’s almost like just a standard. You just do it. Especially in St. Louis, it seems.

Angela:                 Yes.

Marla:                   So how did you personally get in with this kind of work?

Angela:                 Well, I started off within the facilities department. And I was chair of the green committee for the Missouri Historical Society. And sustainability just slowly started to become more and more what I did everyday. Although I was within the facilities department, it was just so fitting that sustainability lives there as well. And within that position, I noticed that the Missouri Historical Society was doing a lot of amazing sustainable things, but were not showcasing those things. And we weren’t sharing them. And we were sharing them in small bits and people. And then I also noticed that, “Oh no, we’re not putting numbers to things. Let’s put numbers to it. Let’s figure out all the good things that we’re doing, what impact are they having. How can we make those good things great.” And so, I slowly started to gather statistical data on what we were doing within operations. And after a year of gathering data, and after a year of sharing all of the sustainable activities we were doing, they were like, “Well let’s make her facilities and sustainability coordinator. That’s very fitting.”

Angela:                 So that’s how I got into the sustainability field. But I’ve always had an interest in it through undergrad and graduate school. So it was nice that I finally found a career where I can work on some my home passions within my career.

Marla:                   So was there a defining moment in your life, basically signed you up for green and sustainable incorporation into your life?

Angela:                 I believe so. I think when I got the shower timer, that was the defining moment.

Tony Pratte:          Perfect! Because we just talked about water the entire first podcast of the day.

Angela:                 And that led to me just wanting to know more and more about green. And this was when I was an undergraduate. And I bought a reusable grocery bag, and it came with a shower timer. I was like, “Oh, wow. That’s interesting.” And so I just started to read more and more about it. And slowly I was transitioning my life slowly into little green practices. And I like how now I can do that within my career and my personal life. So that works.

Marla:                   Nice. That’s a very well rounded approach.

Tony Pratte:          Yeah, it’s nice when all your passions seem to come together into the same place.

Marla:                   It is! It is. Well, and I know part of what y’all have been doing to help share what success that has been had at Missouri Historical Society has been a number of awards that y’all have been winners of.

Angela:                 Yes, yes.

Marla:                   More than I knew. And I know you also are very active in the St. Louis green business challenge.

Angela:                 Yes. So I’ll start with the St. Louis green business challenge ’cause I believe that is what snowballed into all of the awards that we have won.

Tony Pratte:          Well, that makes sense.

Angela:                 Yeah. So we have been participants within the St. Louis green business challenge from the earlier start of the St. Louis green business challenge. And each year we try to add on more and more that we can do within the area of sustainability. And so in 2017, we said, “You know what? Let’s go to the highest level that we can go. Let’s see if we can achieve it, because we are already doing this. The Missouri Historical Society is already doing a lot of these things. Let’s now put it into numbers and paper and so that we can share with everyone what we’re doing.” And so in 2017 we won the St. Louis green business challenge award, champion level.

Marla:                   Kudos!

Angela:                 Yes, that was really nice. And that invigorated the Missouri Historical Society to do more, to share more. Because we noticed within the museum field it’s a tiny portion of us that are doing a lot of sustainable work. And so we said, “Okay. Now it’s time for us to spread out and share more.” And so one of the aspects of sharing more was through the American Alliance of Museum award. And so we won that award for the large museum category. And it was mainly for our energy conservation efforts that we do predominantly at the Missouri History Museum. We do a lot of energy conservation at the Missouri History Museum.

Tony Pratte:          And I would think that building actually uses a lot of energy.

Angela:                 Yes!

Marla:                   Big building.

Angela:                 It is. Yes. And so we partnered with Siemens’s. And so we have a building automation system. And we’ve done a number of facility management type of projects to help to build within our building automation system.

Marla:                   Nice.

Tony Pratte:          You’re talking my language now.

Marla:   Yeah, you’re right up your alley. Well, I’m fascinated with everything y’all are doing.


– a Green Gab podcast with Marla and Tony

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