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Earthworms

Host Jean Ponzi presents information, education and conversation with activists and experts on environmental issues and all things "green." Produced in the studios of KDHX Community Media in St. Louis, MO.
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Conversations in Green: host Jean Ponzi presents information, education and conversation with activists and experts on environmental issues and all things green.

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Jun 12, 2018

Brothers Jeff and Randy Vines are turning 40 (local-speak sez Farty).

Their upbeat, Ham-on-Wry style  - and their business STL-Style - helps power the ultra-diverse, collaborative renewal of their city 'hood, Cherokee Street.

     

These sons of STL suburbia, who went into advertising, know how to put their love of City into action. Their choice of digs on Cherokee, in South St. Louis, is a perfect place to invest their prodigious love-work resources. And to hawk the "St. Louis inspired apparel, merch and curiosities" that deck their corner store.

This conversation is a valentine to City of St. Louis life, from these uber-articulate bros and City-dweller Earthworms host Jean Ponzi.

New bedazzle on Vines' place is the eye-popping swirly-hue giant mural by daughter-father artist team Liza Fishbone and Robert Fishbone. A Fartieth BD present to themselves gifts big beauty to their City too!

More Art-Related Earthworms: Enviro-Cartoonist Joe Mohr (November 2015)

Joan Lipkin: Theater Takes On Climate Change (October 2017)

Filmmaker Caitlin Zera: From The Pipeline (January 2016)

Chalk Riot: Woman-Powered Street Art (May 2018)

Music: Cherokee Nights, performed live at KDHX by Messy Jiverson

THANKS to Anna Holland, engineering Earthworms

Jun 6, 2018

When a material (like paper) or a container (like a bottle or a can) has served its original purpose and still has useful life remaining, that material will remain in use as ingredients in recycled-content products - if you put it in your recycling bin. But not everything should go in that bin.
              
Bob Henkel manages Recycling On The Go for St. Louis Earth Day. He has BIN there & done that Green thang at hundreds of events, with thousand of humans. He know his recycling stuff. So does Earthworms host Jean Ponzi.

This conversation sorts through - literally! - what can and cannot be recycled, and why it's important not to use that Blue Bin as a catch-all for stuff you WISH could continue to be useful, if somebody else does something with it. 

Coming up June 30, 2018: the second Recycling Extravaganza collection this year for hard-to-recycle stuff. Check it out - and remember to ONLY bring what will be accepted!

Global market shifts are puttin' the squeeze on our recycling industry. We need to work together with our recycling service pros to keep this fundamental Green activity functioning, solvent and useful.

Got Sustainable Living questions? Missouri Botanical Garden's Green Resources Answer Service will give you any possible reuse and recycling options for other stuff - plus advice on more, FREE!

Music: Washboard Suzie, performed live at KDHX by Zydeco Crawdaddies

THANKS to Earthworms engineer, Ms. Anna Holland.

Related Earthworms Conversations: Life Without Plastic? (January 2018 and Barge-Based Trash Basher Chad Pregracke (March 2017)

 

May 30, 2018

Artists Chelsea Ritter-Soronen and Liza Fishbone are so down with taking art to the streets. Literally. On the pavement.   

      

From their home bases in Napa, St. Louis and Austin they meet up in cities everywhere to transform our concrete jungles into vivid works that draw you in. Literally! ChalkRiot's mastery of anamorphic visuals, done in ephemerally dusty chalk or persistent paint, create a riot of art that celebrates special events, delivers a message, and grounds Art-Girl Power in stunning, funny, intentional ways. ChalkRiot work vividly explores themes of Love, Technology, the Environment, Women-Strong, Aliens, Pink Bunnies, Justice and more.

     

Newest project Pavement Portals is ChalkRiot's ground-busting foray into Augmented Reality: your phone or tablet view of three fantastic Fortune Telling Machines jumps off floor canvas into scintillating, bubbly life. Look for a St. Louis media buzz around this work to amp up in other cities soon!

Photo credits: RJ Hartbeck Basil Tsimoyanis, Art St. Louis

Music: Jingle Bells, performed live at KDHX by CivilTones
THANKS to Anna Holland for Audio-Girl Powering Earthworms.

Related Earthworms Conversations: Artists Take on Plastic Pollution and Invasive Bush Honeysuckle (March 2018)

May 22, 2018

What stops you from considering a Carpool? Have to know someone who lives near you, who works where you do? Have to do it every day or it doesn't count? How can you get home in an emergency if you don't have your own car?

RideFinders has all this covered, and more - including their database of over 16,000 peeps, living and going to work or school, all over the St. Louis metro area. Some of them can be carpool partners for you!

Joe Wright shares the Carpooling how-to from experience, as well as his job directing RideFinders, our regional ride-sharing agency. This FREE service has been matching commuters in convenient, $$ and personal energy saving everyday travel partnerships since 1994.

            

RideFinders is supported by federal highway funds designated to help clean up St. Louis air by reducing the ratio of cars to persons traveling around our regional "Airshed." Services include FREE membership for companies, universities and other organizations with many possible RideFinders participants, FREE sign-ups for these individuals, FREE taxi service up to 4 times per year as a Guaranteed Ride Home, and FREE workplace presentations about how easy and beneficial Carpooling is.

Consider Carpooling (or joining a Vanpool) for any number of days of your weekly commute. And encourage your employer - or campus Office of Student Affairs - to join and promote RideFinders options.

Special for this summer's Air Quality season: add a new person to your current carpool, or start a new carpool and you'll be entered to win memberships, free passes and other summer-fun goodies in the RideFinders Museum Mania Carpool Challenge.

In a Carpool or Vanpool the benefits will add up way faster than the miles, as you Get Around Greener!

P.S. Informally carpooling counts too! Make it a habit for workplace meetings and social events.

Music: Lime House Blues, performed live at KDHX by legendary Del McCoury

THANKS to Anna Holland, engineering this edition of Earthworms

 

May 15, 2018

On April 22, 1970, a conservative senator from Wisconsin led a diverse, national circle of organizers is bringing public attention to environmental issues of the day. Earth Day has since become the largest civic event on the planet its events strives to protect.

                       

Dr. Adam Rome, Professor of History at SUNY Buffalo, has made a passionate study of this worldwide phenomenon. He shares insights from his 2013 book, "The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation." 

Earthworms host Jean Ponzi swaps Earth Day bits with Dr. Rome from her experience as coordinator of the 20th annual Earth Day Festival in 1990, that helped launch today's vibrant St. Louis Green culture.

Adam Rome will be in St. Louis on May 24 to give the capstone presentation in the 2018 Environmental History Speaker Series. This is a free talk at 7 pm at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.

Music: Modern Andy Down - performed live at KDHX

Thanks to Anna Holland, Earthworms engineer, and to Stephen Hanpeter, Sappington Concord Historical Society.

Related Earthworms Conversations: David and the Giant Mailbox, December 2015 - "Climate Walker" David Henry also presented in this 2018 Environmental History Speaker Series.
Earth Day St. Louis, April 2018

 

May 1, 2018

Once one of the wildest rivers of North America, some now call it the Missouri Canal. It has been dammed, dredged, cursed as it flooded, pinched between levees, straightened - and yet humans from many walks of life are dedicated to helping this river survive, and even maybe re-wild it a little bit.

                

Thomas Ball talks with Earthworms host Jean Ponzi as an individual engaged in the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (he says "Mister RIC"). He's also active in the Sierra Club's Missouri River work  Sierra Club originally filed to get the Pallid Sturgeon, a prehistoric MO River fish protected by the Endangered Species Act.

                     

He brings to our attention two bills moving through Congress that would prohibit citizens from doing this for future threatened species: HB 2134 and SB 935. River lovers: consider action here.

Ball has taken countless humans - youth and adults - out on this river, and on other outdoor adventures. He loves nature, loves the big rivers, and persists in working with his fellow humans to right our actions that have crippled natural forces like the MO, actions which ultimately endanger us. He persists through knowledge, science, collaboration - and that big love. 

Music: Big Piney Blues, performed live at KDHX by Brian Curran
THANKS and welcome back Anna Holland, engineer & tennis champ

Related Earthworms Conversations: Water Issues: Meddling, Muddling, Advocacy (Dec 2017)

Cooperation for Water Security (Oct 2017)

Invest in Infrastructure, Nature's and Ours (April 2017)

Barge-Based Trash-Basher Chad Pregracke (May 2017)

 

Apr 24, 2018

Subtitle of the new book by Seamus McGraw is Making of the American Water Crisis. McGraw turns his curiosity and storytelling skills to focus on Texas, where he says every aspect of water use, issues, needs and potentials are in play. 

      

 From a state he says is more like an Empire, where multiple desert climates overlay multiple aquifers, where water use planning and water rights laws still work in a form of frontier justice - what can we learn about how diverse interests might cooperate to equitably manage what all parties need? Water is life, but can people work out ways to share it?

      

 Left Bank Books, STL's premier independent bookseller, will host Seamus McDaniel on May 1 for a reading and book-signing. A Thirsty Land (2018) comes from University of Texas Press.

Music: Cadillac Desert performed live at KDHX by William Tyler

THANKS to Dan Waterman and Andy Coco, engineering this edition of Earthworms.

Related Earthworms Conversations: Water Issues - Meddling, Muddling, Advocacy (Dec 2017)

Mississippi River Infrastructure Investment Plan (April 2017)

 

Apr 17, 2018

The 2016 book Climate of Hope conveys a broad, powerfully encouraging view from a longtime environmental champion, Carl Pope - former Sierra Club national Director - and his co-author Michael Bloomberg, philanthropist and former Mayor of New York. 

                             

This report on civic, economic, business and cultural alliances proclaims what Pope calls "Bottom-Up Climate Progress" even as U.S. federal leadership rolls back climate protections. Pope's perspective aims to foster citizen engagement and especially locally-based actions to boost clean energy and curb climate disrupting emissions from many sources.

                         
Carl Pope comes to St. Louis on Monday April 23, as Keynote Speaker for the Saint Louis University Climate Summit.

Music: Cadillac Desert, performed live at KDHX by William Tyler

THANKS to Dan Waterman and Andy Coco. engineering for Earthworms

Related Earthworms Conversations: Project DRAWDOWN (March 2018)

Dr. Peter Raven, Science advisor to Papal Academy and Climate Encyclical (June 2015)

David and the Giant Mailbox: Climate Conversations (December 2015)

Apr 3, 2018

Caring for our planet is fun when St. Louis Earth Day's intrepid crew leads the action!

     

On April 21-22 the 29th annual Earth Day Festival will fill the sunny, leafy environs around The Muny in our town's Forest Park with learning, music, food, people-watching and you-can-do options for all ages. Free and fabulous, this event is one of the largest Earth Day festivals on the planet!                                                         

     

The non-profit hosts of this Green gala also coordinate waste-reducing services year-round, from Recycling Extravaganza's annual spring-cleaning support to Recycling On The Go teams that bring food waste composting, single-stream recycling and public education to festivals of all kinds.

Check out volunteer opportunities with St. Louis Earth Day - they are rewarding, impactful and always well organized!

Thanks to Jen Myerscough, St. Louis Earth Day Executive Director, and Bob Henkel, who heads up Recycling On The Go, for joining this Earthworms edition.

Music: Extremist Stomp, performed live at KDHX by Pokey LaFarge and Ryan Spearman
THANKS to Andy Coco, engineering Earthworms this week with assistance from Dan Waterman.
Related Earthworms Conversations: 2018 Green Challenges Worth Taking! (March 2018)

Mar 24, 2018

With Earth Day coming up, we are challenged by a lot of "you can do." Individual efforts matter, but how much?

Earthworms endorses two challenges that WILL have an impact, in our lives and for our planet.

The DRAWDOWN Eco-Challenge, running nationally April 4-25, builds on ten years of eco-challenge experience from Northwest Earth institute to engage individual actions. Multiplying impacts, this 2018 challenge correlates our actions to the measures mapped, measured and prioritized by Project DRAWDOWN for collective capacity to pull climate-changing carbon out of Earth's atmosphere. Lacy Cagle, Director of Learning for NWEI, shares these potentials with Earthworms host Jean Ponzi.

      

Then from April 27-30, residents of the St. Louis region - and 65 other cities around the WORLD - can contribute to understanding about local biodiversity by participating in the City Nature Challenge, as described by Earthworms guest Sheila Voss, VP of Education at the Missouri Botanical Garden .

 

Using the (totally terrific!) app iNaturalist, humans of all ages can log observations of plants and critters as communities "compete" to gather intel about local biodiversity. In St. Louis, observations logged during City Nature Challenge days will establish a baseline of biodiversity data crucial to address regional nature-preservation goals.

In Earthworms' opinion, these are two Challenges WORTH TAKING!

Music: Rearview performed live at KDHX by Belle Star

THANKS to Anna Holland, ace Earthworms engineer

Related Earthworms Conversations:
DRAWDOWN Solutions to Reverse Global Warming (March 2018)

Learning Green: Northwest Earth Institute (October 2017)

 

 

Mar 20, 2018

When Artists address environmental issues, people see/hear them in new ways. Art may fire us into action, more than mere info ever can.

    

Jenny Kettler co-curated and has pieces in a group gallery show, Plastic Nation - The Trashing of America, on view through April 7 at Stone Spiral Gallery in Maplewood, MO. Photographs, multi-media works, ceramics and prints navigate the plastic tide we are awash in, with the message that we can reduce our use of this polluting stuff. This show opened March 10; a Closing Reception on April 7 from 2-4 pm will feature Artist Talks at 2:30 pm.

Dale Dufer is bringing "suit" against one of our region's most destructive yet popular invasive plants. The Trial of Bush Honeysuckle comes to the historic Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis on Wednesday, April 4 at 1 pm. With a real Judge, real Environmental Lawyers and Expert Witnesses, this educational trial seeks justice for damages to the Biodiversity of our Native Plants.  Man vs Bush should be a landmark case, whatever the outcome. Open to the public.

These Artists want us to look deeply into problems we have created on our planet - with a sense of humor to encourage us toward turnarounds.

Music: Mr. Sun, performed live at KDHX by Hunter's Permit
THANKS to Anna Holland, Earthworms podcast engineer

Related Earthworms Conversations: Life Without Plastic? (January 2018)

Fashion Through an Artists Eye: Bush Honeysuckle to Meat (April 2016)

Permaculture Goes Beyond the War on Invasive Species (March 2016)

Invasive Bush Honeysuckle: SWEEP It! (March 2016)

Mar 12, 2018

"Global warming is changing the Himalayas faster than any other region of the world, outside the polar caps," says documentary photographer Neeta Satam.

    

She has made three working treks to the isolated village of Kumik, in the Zanskar valley of Kashmir, where village life, family relations and culture is endangered as climatic shifts remove water from a people who've lived in balance in this region for thousands of years.

"Where should we go?" is one of many stories Satam relates through her perceptions as an environmental scientist, and now through her mastery with a camera lens.

Satam's compassion, insight and courage illuminate her work, as she strives to make the world aware of impacts of Climate Change on human beings in places being hardest hit.

THANKS to Prof. William Allen, University of Missouri, for making the connection to Earthworms for this interview.

Music: Dirty Slide, performed live at KDHX by Brian Curran
Thanks to Anna Holland, Earthworms engineer

Related Earthworms Conversations: Plants, Indigenous People and Climate Change - Dr. Jan Salick, ethnobotanist at the Missouri Botanical Garden (December 2015)

Mar 7, 2018

Humans are pumping CO2 (and other heat-trapping gases) into Earth's atmosphere, causing whopping changes to our climate, aka global warming.

Project DRAWDOWN says (and documents with data) that actions currently in use can, if combined and ramped up, literally draw down over-concentrations of these gases into Earth systems (like soil, trees, oceans) designed to contain them. And reverse global warming.

                   

Chad Frischmann, VP and Research Director for Project DRAWDOWN, worked with multi-disciplinary professionals who have researched the potentials of measures ranging from increasing renewable energy generation to people eating plant-based diets to educating girls - and more. Erika Boeing, now based in St. Louis, is one of the DRAWDOWN Research Fellows and her company, Accelerate Wind, is developing technology to boost wind energy production.

The entire project is summarized in a 2017 book that immediately hit the New York Times Bestseller list.

A St. Louis talk on March 13 will spotlight four Missouri enterprises implementing measures defined by DRAWDOWN, including Ms. Boeing's work, and will describe the audience to Project DRAWDOWN.

With plenty of work needed, this project is seeding optimism in what world leaders and scientists call the moral issue of our time.

Music: Cadillac Desert, performed live at KDHX by William Tyler

THANKS to Anna Holland, engineering for Earthworms

Related Earthworms Conversations: Dr. Peter Raven, St. Louis advisor to Papal Encyclical on Climate Change (June 2015)

Feb 28, 2018

For any Catholic parish, a Fish Fry cooks up fun and some revenue during the season of Lent. At Holy Redeemer in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves, a portion of that green potential is being invested in Green education-by-example, led by two Moms.

              

Jamie Hasemeier, Earthworms guest (pictured right, photo by Dave Leuking), came to "Holy" with strong personal environmental values. She wants to contribute in every way to a healthy world for her four children - and for her fellow humans everywhere. When Jamie teamed with fellow Mom Lisa Reed, who runs the church's annual Fish Fry, she worked through several cycles of Lent to cook sustainability into those events.

Students educate guests about low-waste eating as they direct diners to correctly recycle and compost. Results of these efforts included less than 2 bags of landfill trash from each of 2017's Fish Fry evenings - that each served over 750. Green efforts continue growing!

Features in the St. Louis Review, an archdiocesan publication, and the St. Louis Green Dining Alliance blog helped boost attendance in 2017, when these dinners went Compostable. Trays going into yellow Compost bins are not Styrofoam - they are plastics made from plants.

Other parishes are acting on the Holy Redeemer Green example, set by Mothers who love Earth - and act on their faith.

Music: Rearview, performed live at KDHX by Belle Star

THANKS to Anna Holland, Earthworms skillful, tasteful engineer

Related Earthworms Conversations: Laudato Si, understanding Care for Our Common Home, with Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (January 2016)

Dr. Peter Raven, science advisor to Pope Francis' Climate Change encyclical (June 2015)

Feb 14, 2018

Illinois tourism writers call it a "best-kept secret." Visitors review it as a great place to camp, hike and learn some things. Director (and Earthworms guest) Michelle Berg Vogel says its a working farm and an environmental education place. And in March, a Fungus Farm!

       

McCully Heritage Project, located in Kampsville, IL, is a nature haven at the Illinois-Mississippi Rivers' confluence. Its 940 acres are mainly forested, with native trees and plenty of native wildlife. Native - and visiting - humans thrive there too.

On Saturday March 3, folks who fancy gardening can learn an Agroforestry skill: growing mushrooms on logs. Green oak logs, innoculated with mushroom spawn, sprout Shitakes, and softwood logs support the growth of Oyster mushrooms. Both delicious, nutritious - and easy to produce. Fun with fungus, anyone?

           

Music: Redwing, performed live at KDHX by Currykorn

THANKS to Jon Valley, engineering this Earthworms edition

Feb 7, 2018

Heading west from St. Louis on I-64, just over the Missouri River bridge, bluffs rise and land rolls. There is a golf course (hard to see) and a corporate campus area. With a St. Charles County zoning change, a high-density 350 luxury home development could soon alter 200 of these bluff acres.

Conservationist and landowner Dan Burkhardt, guest for this Earthworms edition, was surprised in December to learn that bluff property owned by the University of Missouri was in a sale process to a home developer. His Katy Land Trust was formed to prevent just this kind of move. Adjacent to the Busch and Weldon Spring Conservation Areas - land purchased and given into care of the Missouri Department of Conservation in the 1950s and 70s respectively - the forested Missouri Bluffs acreage in question is currently zoned Agricultural.

      

The outcome of a public hearing on February 21 by the St. Charles County Planning and Zoning Commission is key to a requested zoning change to Medium- and High-Density Residential, to accommodate the proposed development. The Katy Land Trust is leading opposition to this change. Public comments will be considered in person, and via email before 2-21-18.

Burkhardt and his wife Connie farm their acreage near Marthasville, in a corridor of natural features, German cultural heritage, a thriving regional arts movement and public recreation that is anchored by Katy Trail State Park, with a link to St. Louis in process from Great Rivers Greenway.

Tourism in this heart of Missouri's wine country increasingly returns investments in these resources to all Missourians - and our visitors. Opponents of an intensive luxury housing development here note that that investment will return to very few, and diminish public benefits.

This is an important point for public input. As Dan Burkhardt says, Asphalt is the Last Crop.

Music: Deep Gap, performed live at KDHX by Marisa Anderson

THANKS to Anna Holland, Earthworms engineer

EARTHWORMS is produced as a volunteer community service. Views expressed by volunteer host are her own, and not intended to represent KDHX St. Louis Independent Media or any other organization. Guest views, and the organizations they represent, are clearly presented in each interview, and in accompanying texts.

Jan 30, 2018

Plastic has overtaken our pantries, our shopping carts, our personal-care product cabinets - and our planet's waterways all the way to the oceans! Is there any hope for turning this plastic tide?

Jay Sinha and Chantal Plamondon, Canadian sustainable product entrepreneurs, offer their own experience to encourage fellow humans to break free plastic's hold on our lives. Their new book is Life Without Plastic - the Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Plastic to Keep your Family and the Planet Healthy (Page Street Publishing, 2017).

      

Their book - and their online store, established in 2003 - packs facts about plastic pollution that Jay says is as pressing as Climate Change. But they are not polypropyl-whiners, by any stretch. Jay and Earthworms host Jean Ponzi pick through piles of plastic issues - with encouraging focus on options he and his family continue to test out, that can be useful to you.

What are the problems plastic is causing, for us and around our environment? What are alternatives to some of plastic's most pernicious influences in our lives?

Bring on the glass, wood, fabric and stainless steel! And PLEASE RECYCLE the plastics you do increasingly choose to use.

Music: Infernal Piano Plot, performed live at KDHX by The Claudettes

Thanks to Anna Holland, Earthworms Engineer

Jan 24, 2018

In the rural outskirts of St. Louis, in 1874, Greenwood Cemetery was formed to serve the African-American population growing here after the Civil War. This rolling, 32 acre site became this community's first non-sectarian commercial cemetery open to African Americans.

                       

Until Greenwood closed to burials in 1993, more than 50,000 people were laid to rest here: Buffalo Soldiers and domestic workers, musicians and civil rights leaders, whole families both named and undocumented. This history, still being researched and written, remembers the persistence, hardships and gifts of black individuals' human lives - a remembrance now being restored.  

    
Greenwood shares a fate with other cemeteries with no church or other stewarding relationships, that hold the folk of poor and marginalized people. Human neglect dumped trash on the property - and nature's forces took over. But friends arose to reclaim the history and natural grace of this place. Descendants of those interred and academic professionals formed Friends of Greenwood Cemetery in 1999. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. With much more work to do, this circle of support is growing.

The Greenwood Cemetery Preservation Association brings this story to Earthworms. Guests are Shelley Morris and Rafael Morris, Secretary and President of the GCPA board; Becky McMahon of DJM Ecological Services; and Ann Eftimoff of World Wide Technology.

Music: Slide Blues, performed live at KDHX by Brian Curran.

THANKS to Anna Holland, audio engineering ace.

Related Earthworms Conversations: Green Burial (January 2017)

Jan 17, 2018

The ancient flow of love between Homo sapiens and Apis mellifera keeps food in our bellies, flowers blooming around us, and repairs the whacks we continue to take at nature's balance.

Maybe it's only a bit, one beekeeper, one hive at a time. Yet this relationship embodies the best of how our kind can interact with another species - in this case with a bug - to produce cascading benefits for whole biodiverse environments.

          
Eastern Missouri Beekeepers spreads this love, in an annual intensive workshop and cooperative-learning events year-round. The all-day Beekeeping Workshop, coming up February 10, brings nationally respected beekeeping experts to St. Louis to teach beginning and experienced beekeeping, alongside local pollinator advocates.

This Earthworms conversation draws on beekeeping savvy of Bob Sears, president of Eastern MO Beekeepers; Kate Smith, ardent beekeeper (3 years plus family heritage); and Becky Masterman, program manager for the University of Minnesota's acclaimed Bee Squad, who'll join EMBA members as workshop guest faculty.

Earthworms loves to talk Bees!

Music: Magic 9, performed live at KDHX by Infamous Stringdusters

THANKS to Anna Holland, engineering Earthworms bee-youtifully

Related Earthworms Conversations:
Wild Bees and Native Plants with Heather Holm - March, 2017

Vanishing Bees: Science, Politics and Honeybee Health (Jan 2017)

Honeybee Democracy - Dr. Tom Seely is WILD About Bees (Feb 2016)

 

Jan 10, 2018

Suzanne Kelly was deep into Ph.D. work in women's studies in 2000 when her  father died. Her grief and that experience with conventional memorial processes moved her to explore a new movement (ironic, given our age-old traditions) to send our bodies back to Earth. Literally.

                            

Kelly's new book Greening Death - Reclaiming Burial Practices and Restoring Our Tie to Earth - is a scholarly treatment of natural burial. She covers the history of our resource-intensive, toxic and expensive funeral industry, and examines multi-cultural values about dealing with our dead bodies. From the Civil War era innovation of embalming to today's evolving partnership between land conservation and dust-to-dust advocates, her voice on this topic is factual and clear. She also speaks eloquently for our human needs to honor the passage out of life, and to reconnect with Earth.

Whether you are simply curious about these options or actively seeking Green Burial resources for end-of-life planning, this Earthworms conversation can be useful to you. Listen in peace!

THANKS to Anna Holland, engineering for Earthworms this week

Music: Butter II, performed live at KDHX by Ian Ethan Case

 

Jan 3, 2018

To date, 24 U.S. cities are using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager - a sensible, user-friendly product of our federal taxes at work - to "benchmark" energy use as a first step to strategic investment in energy efficiency measures. St. Louis joined this progressive, prudent group in 2017 by passing an ordinance and signing on to the City Energy Project.

              

Use a common tracker to inform improvements that can cut costs? Make existing buildings more comfortable and healthier? Protect the environment by reducing carbon emissions? Good work, partners in the City of St. Louis for answering all these questions YES!

                            

The significance of this work, even in its first months, was honored in November 2017 with an OLGA (Outstanding Local Government Award) for exemplary public-private collaboration, by the St. Louis region's East-West Gateway Council of Governments. 

The work is straightforward, explains Earthworms guest Rajiv Ravulapati, CEP Technical Advisor for the City of St. Louis. CEP helps cities tailor energy efficiency programs and policies to local needs. In St. Louis, the CEP team assists building owners in implementing the City's benchmarking ordinance, which requires that public and private buildings over 50,000 sq ft must be Benchmarked by April 1, 2018, with the data reported to the City's Building Division. This requirement applies to over 900 buildings located in the City of St. Louis, including 16 City-owned buildings. A Concierge service assists building owners with the process, using an efficient online portal.

City Energy Project champions (shown above) accepting the OLGA award are Rajiv Ravulapati; City of St. Louis Sustainable Director Catherine Werner; US Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter Executive Director Emily Andrews; and St. Louis Alderman Jack Coatar, sponsor of the ordinance that passed with a unanimous vote!

Utility incentive and financing packages can support energy efficiency upgrades, based on CEP data. Options to expand this effort to work with smaller buildings, and across the St. Louis region, offer more potential benefits for local businesses and building owners.

THANKS to Anna Holland, energized engineer for Earthworms

Music: Balkan Twirl, performed live at KDHX by Sandy Weltman and the Carolbeth trio

Related Earthworms Conversations: PACE Energy Financing (January 2017)

MO Energized Relationships  Promote Energy Conservation (September 2016),

Dec 20, 2017

For a region of this planet blessed with so much WATER, you'd think we'd have darn diligent doggin' of water protection. And you would be RIGHT. Water quality advocates with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment are among our waters' ardent champions.

         

This week Earthworms talks with Brad Walker, MCE's Rivers Director, and Alicia Lloyd, Water Policy Coordinator (looking handsomely Glad in Plaid) for an update on water advocacy issues, needs, and some victories during 2017.

You'll hear about pro-Big Ag stacking of Missouri's Clean Water Commission (Bah!), collaborative strategies of the Lower Missouri River and Nicollet Island Coalitions (Yay!) - with more good river info on the MCE Blog.

Listener Quiz: can you name three dumb river "management" outcomes of the Pick-Sloan Act? There are plenty to choose from.

THANKS to Anna Holland, Earthworms ear-friendly engineer

Music: Cadillac Desert, performed live at KDHX by William Tyler

Related Earthworms Conversations:

Dec 13, 2017

What's fair and profitable, local and global, bitter and sweet - and Brown and Green? In St. Louis, Kakao Chocolate is all this and more. 

   

Ingredients in the story of Brian Pelletier, Kakao owner and Chief Chocolatier, include a dramatic career transformation, deep commitment to sustainable ideals and practice, and passionate love for creating the food that makes US feel like we're in love. Brian savors telling his tale as if it were one of his own (popular!) Salted Carmel Truffles. Product of this alchemy? A treat for your heart and ears.

Find Kakao Chocolate products at stores in Maplewood and Clayton, Missouri, and online at www.kakaochocolate.com.

Music: Brandenburg No. 1 performed by Kevin McLeod

THANKS to Anna Holland, Earthworms' tasteful engineer

We know the last four Earthworms editions have been blatantly blithe. We DO still believe in Climate Change, and WILL return to issues-focused interview on Earthworms . . . soon. Meanwhile, let's have some cheese and chocolate with our geese and chickens, OK?

 

Dec 6, 2017

Want to take a peck at keeping chickens- but feeling shell-shocked by the details? Maria Jansen and her clan have EGGSactly the perfect option for you!

         

The Easy Chicken, a family-owned enterprise, will help you launch a Chicken Adventure, worry-free, by leasing everything you need: Coop, Hens, feeding and watering gear, even a starter sack of super-healthy Chicken Feed. You get to try what may be THE most popular Green home-hobby for up to six months - with expert support from the Jansens, grown-ups and boys.

If it works out, GREAT - rental can apply to owning your chicken-keeping kit. If not, you can return your flock for others to experience. Voila! EASY, ethical, healthy, nutritious, bug-eating FUN.

Other options - as you'll hear from Maria, 8-year-old Gabriel, and Zebra the Barred Rock hen - include Baby Chicks for classrooms, visiting their farm to take that first peek at potential peeper-keeping, buying the whole setup you'll need outright, even Chicken Parties.

Maria's new sustainable venture, Jansen Sharpening, can get your good knives tuned up too, but maybe don't tell the hens . . .

Music: Washboard Suzie, performed live at KDHX by Zydeco Crawdaddies.

Thanks to Anna Holland, Earthworms engineer (skillfully dodging Zebra's interview jitters mealworm fling), and to guest volunteer engineer, Matt Abel.

Related Earthworms Conversations: Keeping Geese, Making Cheese (November 2017)

Nov 29, 2017

Homesteading is a sustainable trend for rural, suburban and even urban folk. Up on her stead in Liberty, Maine, Kirsten Lie-Nielsen so loves sharing life with a flock of geese she has written a whole honkin' how-to about it.

        

Could Kirsten's new book, The Modern Homesteader's Guide to Keeping Geese (2017, New Society), entice your feathered fancy goose-ward? Perhaps this Earthworms conversation will! The scoop includes: choosing the best breed of goose for you, hospitable shelter and best geese eats, keeping geese healthy - and much more. Did you know geese are organic crop-weeders?

Kirsten's blog chronicles life on her farm, with useful info for the land-lover in all of us. HONK!!

Music: Jamie, performed live at KDHX by Yankee Racers
THANKS to Anna Holland, this week's Earthworms engineer

Related Earthworms Conversations: Crystal Moore Stevens: Grow - Create - Inspire (October 2016)

Farm on a Building Raises the Roof (August 2016)

Alpacas of Troy: Sustainable Farming on the Hoof (July 2016)

Farmer Girl Meats - Pasture to Porch, Sustainably (June 2016)

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