How you can make your home more ‘green’ and sustainable – inside and out | St. Louis Public Radio

How you can make your home more ‘green’ and sustainable – inside and out

Jun 11, 2015

Jean Ponzi (left) and Richard Reilly (right), managers of EarthWays Center
Credit Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Chances are, you’ve heard the popular term “go green” at some point, indicating efforts to promote more sustainable methods of living. With campaigns to promote “going green,” some people are seeking out more ways to conserve energy ― at home ― and be a little friendlier to the Earth.

On Thursday, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh talked with Jean Ponzi and Richard Reilly, managers of EarthWays Center, a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden about the various ways to lead more energy efficient lives.

One important choice people can make is to have their homes weatherized by an Energy Auditor. Weatherizing homes would help cut heating and cooling costs that often spike during summer and winter months. A certified energy auditor would come to the home and review the utility bills to find any problems. Then, they examine the home with diagnostic tools such as infrared cameras to see where excess energy is being expelled. Finally, once a diagnosis is determined, the auditor provides a list of cracks, crevasses and holes throughout the home that could be leading to high utility bills.

Another way to improve efficiency is to make sure windows and doors are properly installed to prevent heat or air conditioning from escaping.

As for outdoor methods of becoming more “green,” Ponzi and Reilly suggest “naturescaping” gardens. Naturescaping is a landscaping technique of gardening plants that are native to the natural condition of the region and arranged in the way they appear in their natural habitat. The replica natural habitat will attract species of insects that feed on the different types of plants.

Later this month, the Missouri Botanical Garden will host its annual “Green Homes Festival” at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Chesterfield highlighting affordable and practical solutions for sustainable living. This year’s festival will feature 70 sustainability-themed displays and exhibits by local businesses, and non-profit organizations will offer information about renewable energy systems. Some of the topics will include ways to save water, reducing heating and cooling costs, and ways to use solar energy.

Related Event

Missouri Botanical Garden presents the 14th annual Green Homes Festival

  • When: Saturday, June 20, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Where: Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Faust Park, 15193 Olive Blvd, Chesterfield, MO 63017
  • More information

St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.