What's New
Green Homes Festival

Green Homes Festival - New Location!

Green Homes Festival Saturday, June 20, 2015
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
NEW location: at the Butterfly House in Faust Park, Chesterfield, MO

Celebrate Green Living with the whole family in this festival of learning, playing, and engaging with local sustainability experts at the Green Homes Festival presented by EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Talk one-on-one with experts in all areas of sustainable living. Explore home improvement ideas from professionals in the field of green building and home energy options. Learn about native plants and plant based options for living greener. See expert presentations and demos about the many ways that plants, air, water, soil, and energy sustain our homes, our health, and our living Earth. Visit our alternative transportation area to find fun ways to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Children can have fun building a sun-powered miniature roadster to compete in the solar car races, enjoy treats cooked in solar ovens, and paint an eco-mural on a Metro bus. The whole family can join in recycled arts activities led by local arts groups, and enjoy sustainability-themed hands-on activities.

Shop the "Home Made -Home Grown" Marketplace; sample tasty treats and savor yummy fare from food trucks in the Eat Well Local Food Court.

Free Festival admission! A Fun Pass, available for purchase, includes unlimited rides on the St. Louis Carousel and entry to the Butterfly House's Tropical Conservatory.

Presented by Ameren Missouri. Thank you to our 2015 Sponsors and Exhibitors!

For more information on 2015 sponsorship, exhibitor and vendor opportunities, please email pam.wennerberg@mobot.org or call (314) 577-9473 x 6308.

Sustainable Education Update

EarthWays Center education programs for youth and adults explore sustainability topics. Join us to investigate energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy sources, solid waste reduction and recycling, green building, water conservation and air quality.

New Educational Opportunities

Explore how we learn from nature 

Biomimicry Cart

What can we learn from nature? How does nature influence technology? The EarthWays Center has been working on a new educational cart that works to answer these questions and more. The cart contains three activities investigating the power of plants to inspire humans- something known as Biomimicry.

Visitors can find the new cart around the Garden throughout the summer. The Biomimicry cart is fun for all ages and explores how Biomimicry lends itself to technology old and new. Explore how a burr was used to inspire Velcro, how a new, self-cleaning paint based on the Lotus leaf is changing the way we color our world, and how scientists are working with artificial photosynthesis to develop new solar power technologies. 

Sustainability Institute for pK-12 Educators

Celebrates five years of sustainability education

For five years, the EarthWays Center team has partnered with community organizations such as Webster University, the St. Louis Zoo, the U.S. Green Building Council MO-Gateway Chapter and more to hold an annual Sustainability Institute for pK-12 educators.

This summer, the institute is celebrating its 5th anniversary in a big way! The Institute, to be held at MICDS from June 23-25, will focus on empowering students to become actively engaged citizens working towards building a sustainable community.

The Institute will feature special guest speakers and hands-on workshops on topics ranging from water resources and environmental protection to social sustainability. Registration is now open. Please visit www.webster.edu/sie for more information.

Built Environment Update

EarthWays Center programs focus on improving all aspects of our living and working environments. The EarthWays Center is home to the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter. 

New!  Green Homes Spotlights

Homeowners around St. Louis are remodeling, upgrading energy systems, landscaping, and building GREEN! We will highlight these projects in the months to come. These new featurettes detail options both basic and innovative, including the homeowners’ top tips for anyone considering similar ideas.

A Greener Garden

At the Garden we strive to put Conservation in Action: from the built environment and employee engagement, to behind-the-scenes operations and guest services. Learn more about our accomplishments.

Shine on! High Return on Solar Panel Investment

The Missouri Botanical Garden's early investment in solar energy is paying off.

Kemper solar

In 2009, to offset the power required by a seasonal display, a small array of solar photovoltaic panels was installed on a pergola in the Kemper Center's demonstration gardens. The display is long gone but the solar panels continue to produce free energy for Garden operations, offsetting energy requirements for operating our electric vehicle charging stations for three months.

CBEC Solar



In 2010, 110 solar panels were installed atop the Garden's Commerce Bank Education Center. Since then, an average of 32,000 kWh of energy has been produced each year, enough to offset about 5% of the building's total electrical requirements and displacing about 29 tons of CO2 emissions. The cost of the system will be fully recovered by 2016 and expected to save an estimated $180,000 in electricity costs over its useful life.

Upcoming Programs

Take a Class – Build Something – Learn Green to Live Green with the EarthWays Center!

2015 Classes and Educational Opportunities

Join us at one of these fun, educational, and sustainable Green Living classes happening soon!

Field Trip: Where is Away? Composting at St. Louis Composting
Saturday, May 16, 2015
9:30 a.m. to noonComposting facility
$42 members; $50 nonmembers

Join us on this exciting field trip to one of the area’s largest commercial composting facilities. Many area businesses, including the Garden, partner with St. Louis Composting to reduce the amount of food waste sent to the landfill through composting. On this field trip we will travel across the river to St. Louis Composting’s Belleville facility, tour giant wind rows, and discuss the importance of reducing landfill waste through composting.

Recycling 101 
Thursday, August 13, 2015
7 to 8:30 p.m. 
$25 members; $30 nonmembers
Recycling 101 adult class

What happens to all those recyclables? Does someone really sort that single-stream recycling? Can you recycle plastic bags? Gain a deeper understanding of key recycling and waste-reduction concepts as we walk through the entire process of recycling, including how materials are recovered to produce new products for the shelves. Learn what can and cannot be recycled in the area and where to go to recycle those items that don’t belong in the bin. Supported by the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District. Designed for adults only.

For more information or to register for these and other great Green Living classes now visit www.mobot.org/classes

Healthy Hallways Community Workshop  

St. Louis County Residents Only  

Monday, June 15, 2015
6 to 9 p.m. 
St. Louis Library County Headquarters

This workshop for educators, concerned parents, school administrators and other community members from St. Louis County will focus on household hazardous waste and creating healthy school environments. Topics will include how to create sustainable purchasing policies, green cleaning alternatives, and how to discuss these issues with schools and students. All attendees will receive a Green Cleaner Kit and Healthy Hallways Green Cleaning Options informational packet. Seating is limited to just 25 so register today!

To register click here. Or for more information contact Jim Biggs at jim.biggs@mobot.org

Featured Organization

MSD Project Clear

Using nature to keep rain in the environment and out of the storm drains.

MSD Project Clear is the initiative to improve water quality and alleviate many wastewater concerns in the St. Louis region. It will invest billions of dollars over a generation in planning, designing, and building community rainscaping, system improvements, as well as an ambitious program of maintenance and repair.

msdRainscaping is any combination of plantings, water features, and other activities that manage stormwater as close as possible to where it falls, rather than moving it someplace else. Used effectively, rainscaping can reclaim stormwater naturally, reduce sewer overflows and minimize basement backups.

To learn more about ways to grow a livelier, healthier environment in your own backyard using rainscaping options, explore the NatureScaping area at the Green Homes Festival. Exhibits in this area will feature water-saving rainscaping and water quality options, backyard biodiversity resources, permeable pavers, and more! The NatureScaping area is sponsored by MSD Project Clear.

Volunteer Opportunities

The EarthWays Center seeks volunteers year round for events and other sustainability projects!

Upcoming Volunteer Activities 

Green Homes Festival

A Green Homes Festival volunteer

Volunteer help is welcome for Festival preparation and operation.

To sign-up, visit the Volunteer Opportunities webpage. Click on "Register for an Event." Sign in or create a new volunteer profile and select the Green Homes Festival event on June 20. Select your availability and assignment. Then, pick one of the training dates. Questions? Email katherine.golden@mobot.org or call 314-577-0207. 

Summer Internships 

Looking for a spring or summer internship?  The EarthWays Center has a variety of opportunities available - spend the summer with us and learn about the many areas of Sustainability. Currently available: Events and Marketing Intern, Sustainability Intern, and Sustainability Education Intern. 

News Rewind

EarthWays Center People & Programs in the Media

Awards and Recognitions

Deb Frank accepts her Award

At this year’s Seventh Annual Growing Green celebration, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter, took the opportunity to shine a “Green Spotlight” on all the previous Growing Green Awardees, which included two of our staff members. 2014 awardees were invited to give a presentation, which included Deb Frank, the 2014 Community Champion Awardee. Richard Reilly, a 2009 Quietly Green awardee, was also recognized and displayed a poster. 

Tune in to Earthworms — environmental talk radio, hosted by the EarthWays Center’s own “Green Jean” Ponzi, Mondays 7–8 p.m. and archived online at KDHX 88.1 FM.

Growing Green St. Louis — Jean Ponzi, Green Resources Manager, EarthWays Center, hosts this engaging radio talk show focused on regional "green" endeavors with a changing line up of guests. Airs Saturdays 8-9 p.m. CST on Big 550 KTRS-AM.

"Friend" the EarthWays Center!

Join the conversation! Follow the EarthWays Center on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to stay up to date on sustainability in the St. Louis region. 
Facebook icon Follow the EarthWays Center on Pinterest! Follow the EarthWays Center on Twitter

Updates Via Email

Sign up to receive our quarterly EarthWays Center e-newsletter.
Everyday Green

Ventilation demo

Plastic Pot Recycling
Help reduce the amount of horticultural waste in landfills

Green Resources Answer Service
Call (314) 577-0246 or email with questions related to green products, services and claims

Rainscaping Guide
Learn how to incorporate sustainable landscaping that reduces stormwater runoff and improves local water quality

Growing Green St. Louis
Listen to the Garden's weekly radio show hosted by our Green Resources Manager, Jean Ponzi, on Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m. on The Big 550 KTRS

Volunteer for the EarthWays Center
A great way to get introduced to the “green scene” here in St. Louis

Special Events
At the Garden and events presented by our partners