The 12th annual Green Homes and Great Health Festival returns to the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival showcases affordable, practical options for sustainable living combined with positive ways to maintain the health of people and the planet. The Green Homes and Great Health Festival is included with Missouri Botanical Garden admission of $8 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. St. Louis City and County residents enjoy free admission on Saturday before noon and are $4 thereafter.

Presented by Ameren Missouri and sponsored by many local partners, this year’s festival features over 100 exhibits and demonstrations by the region’s leading sustainability focused businesses and organizations, as well as health experts from Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University School of Medicine. Attendees can talk one-on-one with a wide range of experts about their specific interests, project ideas and needs.

Ameren Missouri will showcase “Now Is the Time to Act On Energy” incentives and resources for homeowners and businesses. The Make It and Take It DIY Area, sponsored by the St. Louis Regional Clean Air Partnership and curated by the upcycling non-profit Perennial, will provide materials and support to whip up a batch of Clean Air Cleaner, a non-toxic alternative to commercial all-purpose cleaning products, make draft-dodging Door Snakes, turn T-shirts into bracelets and shopping bags, and craft jar labels or garden markers from aluminum beverage cans. Join a yoga session on the grass from 9-10 a.m. with Elle Potter of Yoga 6; bring your mat or use one provided.

The Principia Collage Solar Car Team, special guests throughout the day, will share their knowledge and stories of competing in national road races and speed trials in Ra 7S, their latest model custom racer. Principia champions will also coach and cheer on festival kids who want to buy, build and race a miniature solar car at 1 and 3 p.m. in the Solar Racer Roundup area, sponsored by Microgrid solar.

Entertaining all day, the Radio Disney Rockin’ Road Crew will bring prizes, games and dancing, and the Fish-Eye Fun Planet Party Photo Booth will provide green-themed costumes and props for free family photo fun. Meet ‘n greet Fredbird from 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon!

Community sustainability advocates can share ideas and strategies at the Municipal Green Team Meet-Up, hosted from 9-10:30 a.m. by the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter.

Bring in outdated electronics and large and small appliances to the free electronics recycling collection. Service provider Midwest Recycling Center (MRC) will recycle “anything with a cord” and Ameren Missouri ActOnEnergy will recycle dehumidifiers and window air conditioners. Collection takes place 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at a drop-off site located at 4651 Shaw, three blocks west of the Garden at Kingshighway.

More than 100 sustainability-themed displays and exhibits by local businesses and non-profit organizations will offer information about solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy systems; energy efficient lighting and appliances; cool roof retro-fits; efficient windows, insulation and weatherization. Explore ways to protect your budget and the planet with experts in heating and cooling systems; green home building materials and methods; home energy auditing; non-toxic home cleaning and decorating products; recycling and waste reduction. Learn to grow a healthier environment in your own backyard through water-saving RainScaping with native plants and composting. And discover new ways to get around with alternative vehicle and fuel options; bicycle transportation; green jobs and more.

A roster of interactive “Presentations to the People” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will cover useful topics including keeping backyard chickens and bees; solar electricity and solar shingles; home energy efficiency and sustainability of natural gas; interior design for indoor air quality and building deconstruction; preserving the harvest; native plant landscaping and composting with worms.

The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine will offer free health assessments, prevention resources and opportunities to talk one-on-one with Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University experts about a variety of health and cancer topics, including the “8 Ways to Stay Healthy and Prevent Cancer.”

Children and families can sample treats cooked in solar ovens, and snap photos with costumed recycling characters. Join in recycled arts activities led by St. Louis Public Radio, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Gateway Greening, RideFinders, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and St. Louis Teachers’ Recycle Center. Enjoy green-themed storytelling, puppet shows and face painting. Explore green energy with presenters from the St. Louis Science Center and EVie the Electric Vehicle.

All ages can paint a Metro bus eco-mural with artists from The Screwed Arts Collective; the finished work will travel the streets of St. Louis throughout the year. The green vehicle show will feature electric and alternative fuel cars and trucks, along with the opportunity to talk with owners about their vehicles’ performance. Cycle to the festival and take advantage of convenient free bicycle parking.

Shop the “HOME Made – HOME Grown” green marketplace, featuring home décor and gifts made by area crafters and produce grown by local farmers. The Garden Gate Shop will feature fair trade and recycled-content clothing and gifts, along with plants to refresh and beautify your home. The first 2,000 festival attendees will get a free reusable shopping bag!

Enjoy local music by the Buckhannon Brothers (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Letter to Memphis (2 to 4 p.m.) as you stroll the “Eat Well Local” food court, featuring healthy treats and beverages from Black Bear Bakery, Capitalist Pig BBQ, Lulu’s Local Eatery Food Truck, Schlafly Brewery and others. Bring your reusable bottle and get free water refills. Recycling and composting will reduce the festival’s “waste-line.”

Volunteer help is welcome for festival preparation and operation. Email volunteer coordinator Kat Golden at katherine.golden@mobot.org  or find volunteering details online at www.mobot.org/greenhomesfest.

The Green Homes and Great Health Festival is included with Missouri Botanical Garden admission of $8 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. St. Louis City and County residents enjoy free admission on Saturday before noon and are $4 thereafter. Missouri Botanical Garden members are free.

For general information, visit www.mobot.org/greenhomesfest , or call (314) 577 5100 (toll-free, 1 800 642 8842). Follow the Garden on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/missouribotanicalgarden and http://twitter.com/mobotnews.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis, accessible from Interstate 44 at the Vandeventer exit and from Interstate 64 at the Kingshighway North and South exit. Free parking is available on site and two blocks west at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer.