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Guest Post: Green Living in St. Louis

Posted May 30 2012 7:39am

Hi folks! I’m back from Vegas (check out my recap !) but we got back late last night and I was overloaded with homework, so I hope you enjoy this guest post from a fellow St. Louis blogger, Melissa . She’s going to give you a peak into her sustainable lifestyle here in St. Louis! Thanks again Melissa!

Hello Every Little Thing readers! My name is Melissa and I write about local food, growing [much of] our own food, and using that food to fuel bicycle transportation on my blog, HerGreenLife . I’m excited to be helping Stacy out with a guest post while she enjoys (recovering from) a getaway with her fiancé (editor’s note: !!). In keeping with her local and natural living theme, Stacy asked me to share some experiences, tips, and resources for living sustainably in St. Louis.

Ready, set, get your green on!

AtBowood

Touring Bowood Farms’ garden

Drink Green

Let’s kick things off with a drink. The May 2012 issue of FEAST Magazine has some great info on Missouri wines, including the helpful Local Varietals 101 . I’m more of a wine girl than a beer girl, but if you prefer a hoppy drink, check out StL Hops’ St. Louis Beer Guide . Either way, you’re supporting local agriculture and business with every sip you take.

Green Your Summer Fun

If you’ve been in St. Louis for at least a year, you know that it’s a fabulous place in the summer, with food, music, and cultural events and festivals everywhere you turn. Some of our favorites are Wednesday night music at MOBot, free seats at The Muny, and the Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park.

You can do your part to make any event more sustainable by bringing your own water bottle. Take it one step further and bring reusable utensils – I keep a bamboo set in my bag so I have something on me at all times. A shallow plastic container makes a great reusable picnic plate. (You can use both the lid and the container to hold food if you’re extra hungry!) When you finish eating, just snap the lid on and toss it in your bag for easy clean-up and carrying.

Shop Green, Shop Local

St. Louis is home to many small businesses that directly or indirectly contribute to sustainability, but some stores feel like well-kept secrets.

We’ve been apartment hunting for over a year now (long story, don’t ask), and at one apartment we viewed recently in South City, the owner mentioned her dislike for the strong chemicals in paint stripper. We immediately suggested that she check out the options at Home Eco , a green general store in the South Hampton area - just a hop, skip, and a jump from her building - only to discover that she’d never heard of the store!

We buy bulk bin refills of laundry and dishwasher detergent, castile soap, and dish soap from Home Eco, as well as toiletries and gardening tools. They also carry the bamboo utensil set I mentioned above, and some other great eating-on-the-go items.

On the food front, we frequent Local Harvest Grocery as well as area farmers’ markets ( click here for a list of more than 20 markets in the area).

Both Home Eco and Local Harvest Grocery are located within easy biking distance for us. While you should definitely check them out, I also encourage you to find options that are walkable or bikeable.

Getting Around Town

Speaking of walking and biking, let’s talk transportation. In urban areas, 25% of trips are one mile or less (an easily walkable distance for most people), and over 50% of all trips are three miles or less (an easily bikeable distance), yet a whopping 90% of trips are made by car! Something’s wrong with that picture.

When I moved to St. Louis seven years ago for grad school, I had a car but I also had a bicycle. I lived about a mile from school/work, and driving that distance just seemed silly. With no previous commuter bicycling experience (and, really, very little biking experience, period), I jumped in and never looked back.

In the process of various relocations (housing and work), my [round-trip] bike commute grew from 2 miles, to 5 miles, then 7 miles, and finally 12 wonderful miles from my South City apartment to WashU’s North Campus near The Loop. After cycling up until the day before I went into labor last summer, I’m exploring options for on board.

BikingWithBaby

Ready to ride!

Whether you’re still thinking about using your bicycle for transportation, just getting started, or pretty experienced but still uncertain or uncomfortable in some situations, check out the local . Their tagline is, “You can go anywhere by bike! We’ll show you how,” and they mean it!

Still looking for more green inspiration and information? Check out these resources:

St. Louis Green Drinks – Green networking and socializing, meets once a month at Schlafly Bottleworks

Sustainable Back Yard Tour – From vegetables to native flowers, bees to goats, come see what’s going on in a yard near you!

The EarthWays Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden – Sustainability resources and education

Green Dining Alliance , a St. Louis Earth Day initiative

St. Louis Green a resource for green businesses, jobs, and more!

BUILD St. Louis’ Community Buying Guide

Thanks again, Melissa!

Question: What green initiatives do you take in your household?

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