Green Resources Info Service and FAQs
Green Resources Info Service

Green Jean Ponzi is ready to answer your questions
The EarthWays Center's 'Green Jean' Ponzi is at your service with the answers to your sustainable-living questions.
What's "green" about it?
Where can I find it?
What's the most sustainable choice?

Whatever your question, the Garden's sustainable-living experts are at your service!

We can help you:

  • find green products and services
  • evaluate green claims
  • plan your green home or lifestyle project

Contact us today at or (314) 577-0246.

Green Resources FAQs

Why should I recycle compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs?

Gaseous Mercury works in the vacuum tube of a fluorescent light bulb by exciting the electrons of other gases and making them emit light, or fluoresce. The bulb burns out when these gases eventually fuse to the glass. A fascinating, high-tech recycling process recovers the gaseous Mercury from the shattered glass of fluorescent tube bulbs. The minute amount of elemental Mercury used in a CFL ballast is also recovered. Individual consumers (defined as “small quantity generators” of this kind of hazardous waste) are not required by law to recycle this material. But the simple and very convenient option to merge your burned-out bulbs with the bulb waste streams of the retail chains (Home Depot, Lowe’s) that accept CFLs from customers, means that much more valuable Mercury can be recovered, incorporated into new products, and kept from polluting the environment.

Answers provided by:

Jean Ponzi
Green Resources Manager, EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  Marcus G. Rivas
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Learn more from Marcus "Dr. Detox" Rivas on how to "Detox Your Domicile"
Green To Go: Public Talks

EarthWays Center offers inspiring, interactive one-hour adult-audience virtual presentations. 

Schedule by calling (314) 577-0246 or email

2020 Virtual Topics

  • The Power of Plants: Natives!
  • Energy in Buildings: Clean, Green, Economical
  • Recycle Responsibly
  • The Dirt on Compost
  • Invasive? Native? Exotic: an Eco-Logical View of Plants
  • Smarter—Greener—Cleaner
  • Monarchs and Mosquitoes
  • Good Green News: Food!
  • Earth's Climate: Facts, Myths, Opportunities
  • Green Means Business!
  • Where is "Away"?
  • Being a Green-savvy Consumer

Download additional information and topic descriptions