Gabbing with Green Jean Ponzi of Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center. EarthWays is the sustainability division of the Garden, which is well respected around the country for their sustainability and even helps other gardens with sustainability. Jean has long been a pillar of the green and sustainability movement in the St. Louis area through her work and her show Earthworms. She is a mentor to Marla and both of us have worked with her in various capacities over the years at the STL HBA, US Green Building Council and other projects and organizations.
NAHB Sustainability and Green Building infographic showing Missouri is 9th in the nation for overall NGBS green certified homes and 4th for green certified single-family homes. This has to be the best kept secret!
Sustainability and Green Can Be an Asset for Companies
Jean moved on from her work with homes to work with businesses managing the St. Louis Green Business Challenge. They are going into their 8th year to work with companies in the St. Louis area to green up their day-to-day operations and. This has influencing policy, employee engagement and supply chain management. Coupled with activity on a global level for corporate sustainability, included with WalMart’s sustainability work in the retail sector.
Green is mainstream and pays its way. It offers job evolution, as in the case of green infrastructure with landscaping. Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) in St. Louis is encouraging plant based strategies to capture and hold storm water. It ties in the landscape industry and helps grow jobs.
So many companies and organizations are getting it that sustainability and green are good business. Research shows the public cares and are making buying choices based on companies’ actions.
Helping homeowners and residents understand that they too can bring the benefits of green and sustainability from work into their homes.
Mainstream concepts at EarthWays Center. Stuff they can get often off the shelf, that’s practical and often innovative. Putting practices on a scorecard helps putting new practices in play do-able and practical. If it’s not practical, people aren’t going to do it.
Green Homes Festival is June 3, 2017
Missouri Botanical Garden’s Green Homes Festival returns to St. Louis June 3, 2017 9am to 4pm. (Correction to podcast – in the podcast, Jean states the date as June 4, 2017, yet it is actually, Saturday June 3, 2017.) It is a day filled with fun, food, activities and education at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Bring your home improvement ideas and talk with over 40 green product and service exhibitors. At the Green Homes Festival you can visit the gardens and engage with people with an interest (or maybe just a curiosity) in sustainable, healthy lifestyles, including homes. Presentations to the people, short chalk-talks, offer even more insight and information on all kinds of topics – from honeysuckle to solar panels.
EarthWays Center Mission to Inform People
One of the ways EarthWays Center helps people better understand their homes and what goes into making them better is the Energy Wall. The Energy Wall is one of the most visible and largest ways to show people. It is a big wall that goes to expos and shows with examples of all the things in a building envelope (exterior wall) that can leak in a home. All the things in a home have to work together for a high-performance home or building.
PACE financing is now available in Missouri for loans to help pay for energy-efficient home improvements. These loans are tied to the value in your home, rather than a traditional loan. PACE is currently available in California, Florida and now Missouri.
Green Building and building science bring comfort to a home. Many things to do in a home that are practical ways to enhance the comfort. Jean talks of her personal experience with painting the flat roof of their home white. They do not have air conditioning, yet even in 80-90 degree days, just painting the roof white dramatically changed the comfort in their home.
Plants can not only look beautiful, they can also contribute to the energy efficiency of a home, such as a shade tree protecting the home while bio-diversifying your property. Native plants can provide help to the infrastructure to protect water and help mitigate storm water. It’s a win-win-win when you look at how we can incorporate plants into human plans. Many strategies to help move water and of all of them tested at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the plant-based strategies worked best. Check out native plant landscaping in your area.
Get Marla’s book Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices to a Better Home. For more information about the show, Marla at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tony at email@example.com
I’d love to speak at your next event – for ideas check out my speaking information. Thank you and have a blessed day.