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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Aug 26, 2015

What's in those cleaning products under your sink - and in your school, workplace or church closet? Chemicals of all kinds. Many beneficial, many more harmful to human and environmental health. The U.S. EPA has a new evaluation and labeling program to help Americans make a Safer Choice. This label on a product tells you at a glance that a host of significant science-based factors have been documented to earn the right to market as a Safer Choice.

Marcus Rivas, environmental engineer with the U.S. EPA's Region VII office (Earthworms host Jean Ponzi's and longtime esteemed colleague/Green Pal) tells the why, how, what and more about kind of products used around us every day - and how Safer Choice can help individuals and businesses safeguard health. Our tax dollars at work!

Can your business use a Pollution Prevention Intern?  EPA's Pollution Prevention (P2) program also works with universities nation-wide to support professional training for students and sustainability implementation and documentation for businesses.

Music: "Washboard Suzie" by Zydeco Crawdaddies - from "KDHX Music Sampler Vol. 1" (1999)


Aug 19, 2015

Millennials are truly a Global generation. Lifetime traveler Amy Mank is building a business on her demographic's values of making a difference while making a profit - and having FUN! 

 Amy MenkTrekking Green logo

Amy's blog features travel fashion, well-being tips for any journey and Eco-Tourism outpost reviews, seasoned with her thoughful philosophy. This Earthworms conversation bridges Boomer and Millennial viewpoints, as Amy shares how human travel is evolving, sustainably.

Music: Balkan Twirl by Sandy Weltman and the Carolbeth Trio - from "KDHX Music Sampler Vol. 1" (1999)

Plus - your IN-vitation to support the creativity KDHX powers in St. Louis, and around the listening world! INdependent, INvested, IN your heart, mind, ears. All IN for KDHX! 

Please go to to show you're ALL IN - and tell 'em Earthworms Podcast sent you!  THANKS!

Aug 12, 2015

Run a radio station on volunteer people-power?  

KCMJ is in the earliest stages of this community-building effort. Dave Gardener, KCMJ's volunteer Station Manager, took a leave from his lucrative industrial film-making career to jump-start this "Center for Media Justice" on the Rocky Mountain front range. Licensed by the FCC for a startup 100 watts, KCMJ is still limited to streaming live their 24-7 programming - while they fundraise to earn transmitter space!

KDHX has been doing it for 27+ years, with Earthworms producer/host Jean Ponzi involved for all but the first of them. We're supremely fortunate to broadcast at 42,000 watts in a major media market. And we've worked, struggled and squeaked through a lot of the same issues facing KCMJ now.

This candid conversation bounces questions and perspectives about what works, what didn't, what might, and who cares about it all between two broadcast media veterans. Why is people-powered radio still important in the digital media marketplace? Can it still influence community health? And can it succeed?  

Dave and Jean's visit in the KCMJ studio (housed in a room at Rocky Mountain Public Television) pretty much say YES - with a lot to consider along the way.

Is KDHX important to YOU? Make a contribution today at - and note that you're an Earthworms Podcast listener!  THANK YOU!

Jul 29, 2015

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) lets eaters put our money where our forks are, right up front. Subscribers share both risks and harvests. At Earthworms, Crystal Stevens (and her husband Eric) are our farmers! 

This week's conversation highlights weeds and weather, the demands and rewards of a near-to-city farm wife's life, and the blessings of connecting community to farm. Specifically the farm at LaVista, on the bluffs of Godfrey, Illinois.

Are CSA meals a workable option? For sure, the fridge bulges with greens some weeks, but then we turn on the stove and KDHX and cook up something organic, local, healthy and delicious. And it's worth every bit of chopping and planning to support as well as eat from land that's worked with love.

LaVista CSA Farm has a limited batch of mid-season, pro-rated subscriptions available now, just in time for summer tomatoes. Tell 'em Earthworms sent you.


Jul 21, 2015

Walter (Stormy) Crawford was one of Earth's colorful and influential denizens. He parlayed his love of wild creatures into work that's known and respected world-wide, as founder and longtime director of the World Bird Sanctuary. His unexpected death on July 17, 2015 at age 70 opens a vast space in the fabric of environmental education and conservation action, in St. Louis and beyond.

This interview with Walter Crawford from the Earthworms Archives was broadcast live on KDHX on July 26, 2010. 

Roger Holloway, World Bird's longime Director of Operations, joins Jean Ponzi to introduce this tribute. Walter Crawford's colleagues - staff, volunteers and friends - wil continue this work, healing and returning to the wild injured birds of prey, and teaming human-bird resources to educate all ages. 

Every Thursday in August, St. Louisans and visitors will thrill to the power of eagles, owls, hawks, and ravens as THEY participate in the World Bird Sanctuary summer evening concerts. Birds in Concert wil feature Walter's favorites on August 13. Every show features The Raptor Project, World Bird's high-flying house band. Concerts are free - come early, stroll the grounds.

Music: Wonderful Bird Song (by Joe Hoffman) from The Raptor Project first CD, Save The Future (Raptor Records, 2009)  - used by permission, with Earthworms thanks.


Jul 15, 2015

Meet Mark H.X. Glenshaw: college library staffer by day, Owl Prowler by night, and self-styled Naturalist extraordinaire. For over 9 years, in all weathers, Mark has been observing a mated pair of Great Horned Owls (and their 26 owlets!) in this country's second largest urban park. He generously helps adults and kids to get out in nature too.

Charles and Sarah, as Mark calls these owls, invite you to meet their human student, fan and champion in this true tale of urban ecology.

Learn more at

Music: Divertimento - W.A. Mozart, via Kevin MacLeod


Jul 8, 2015

Studying food policy at NYU, Leanne Brown wanted to help SNAP recipents eat well on the "$4 a day" provided to over 46 million Americans. Her cookbook GOOD AND CHEAP steamed a 2014 Kickstarter campaign, getting 40,000 copies donated to non-profits or sold at cost. This month's new editon from Workman Publishing will distribute on a buy-one, give-one model. PDF version available too!

Leanne shares stories from cookbook recipients, favorite recipes and her ideas about food and social equity. From pulled pork to food systems, this conversation is a menu of Earthworms' specialty: Green Views You Can Use.


Music: Jamie by Yankee Racers, performed at KDHX 6-29-15

Jun 30, 2015

Architect-turned-farmer Mary Ostafi's dream of Growing Food Where People Live is bearing fruit - and chard, eggplant, tomatos and flowers - atop a storage-unit building in downtown St. Louis.

 Urban Harvest Food Roof 

Mary's leadership has also harvested major $$ support, from crowd-funds to a Metropolitan Sewer District Project Clear grant. With veg in the "ground" and a biz-plan in hand, this city's first rooftop farm is growing connections between loft-living eaters, social service job programs, water conservation needs, and much more.

Food Roof features include raised beds, aeroponics, a drainage board that can contain 17,000 gallons of rainwater (which won't run off to overload storm sewers), bee hives and a Milkweeds for Monarchs pollinator garden. Living lunch from a flat-roof ecosystem!

This week's Earthworms podcast is a taste of what's evolving as the Urban Harvest Food Roof Farm - featured this week in the New York Times!


Music: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 - J.S. Bach (he liked turnips)


Jun 22, 2015

Peter Raven is St. Louis' own Hero of the Planet. Since 1990 he's been a Senior Science Advisor to the Pontifical Academy of Science, most recently one of the minds behind the letter from Pope Francis, released on June 18, framing climate change as a moral issue for all people of this Earth.

Dr. Raven, who is President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, talks with Earthworms host Jean Ponzi about the papal message, about this moment for humankind, and about the potential each one of us has to make the changes needed to heal and protect the Earth.

Read the climate change encyclical, Laudato Si' - and be assured that our individual efforts do matter in a world where "climate is a common good" and ". . . .nothing is indifferent to us."

Thanks to Earthworms engineer, Andy Coco.
Music: Artifact by Kevin MacLeod

Jun 17, 2015

This summer watch the streets of St. Louis for a unique rolling service: a grocery store in a Metro bus. Earthworms guest Jeremy Goss and his partners Colin Dowling and Tej Azad are medical students and an MBA about to launch some serious business.

The St. Louis Metro Market will address food access issues rooted in poverty and racial discrimination. It will run as a business, generating revenue through at-cost sales in low-income neighborhoods and market-rate sales on corporate campuses. Produce supplied by community gardens and sustainable farms will help nourish our Local Food sector, as the bus delivers healthy food to folks in need. Plus cooking demos - and SAMPLES! - will encourage customers to prepare healthy meals.

This inspiring conversation blooms with "good and great" responses to needs of people, the planet - and the process of making a decent living. 

Follow Jeremy and the Metro bus grocery on Twitter @STLMetroMarket 

Jun 10, 2015

For 6 years (this month) an (amazing!) group of ordinary people have worked to keep a coal ash landfill out of the floodway of the Missouri River. Not saying "no landfill" or "close the coal plant." The Labadie Environmental Organization, LEO, marshals the resources of scientific, medical, legal and engineering experts who pitch in alongside farmers, parents, business owners - hundreds of engaged FOLKS - in efforts to get coal ash disposal sensibly and safely sited. Struggle? Yes. Crucial? LEO members and supporters believe so, and they are WORKING on this issue. 

Guests: Petra Haynes and Patricia Schuba - LEO core organizers

Music: R. Roger Pryor - traditional instrumental performed 1997 at The Focal Point

Connect with LEO on Facebook and Twitter and through

Your engagement is welcome, needed and will be rewarding. Time-sensitive responses include June 11, 2015 Franklin County (MO) Commission testimony date and submission of email testimony. See LEO on Facebook for details.


Jun 3, 2015

Missouri's largest private landowner, Leo Drey grew a mighty forest of conservation impacts, cumulatively and literally, over his 98 years (1917 - 2015).

In this first edition of Earthworms' new podcast era, Jean Ponzi welcomes historians and fellow enviro-champions to honor a beloved colleague, leader and friend. Guests are:

  • Dr. Susan Flader - Professor Emerita, University of Missouri and Vice-President, L-A-D Foundation
  • David Lobbig - Curator of Environmental Life, Missouri History Museum and Board President, Missouri Coalition for the Environment
  • Music by the late R. Roger Pryor - Co-Founder and Director, Missouri Coalition for the Environment; recorded live in 1997 at The Focal Point in St. Louis

Learn more about the life and work of Leo Drey - and explore conservation opportunities YOU can enjoy and support - from the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.

May 11, 2015


Jean talks with Pen Augustin, author of "Waves of Light: Messages From Nature to Heal Our Planet", about her work as an energy healing practitioner, and how humans can consciously use lessons from creatures in nature to improve themselves and the Earth.

Apr 21, 2015


Jean discusses the 26th annual St. Louis Earth Day with the event’s Marketing and Communication Coordinator, Jen Meyerscough. Jen tells us about what new features to expect this year, and what it takes to keep this event thriving and growing after a quarter-century.

Apr 21, 2015


Anne Milford, Communications Coordinator for Great Rivers Greenway, explains how advancements for bike lanes are calming traffic and benefitting the community. This month, Great Rivers Greenway is celebrating 135 miles of bike routes being established throughout St. Louis City and County, and Anne explains what’s next to help low-impact travelers get around and travel safely. 

Apr 14, 2015


Serena Cochran, a farmer that runs Stuart Farm with her husband Fred, talks with Jean about raising meat chickens humanely and sustainably.

Apr 14, 2015


Patricia Schuba, Citizen Activist for the Labadie Environmental Organization, discusses an intensely debated proposal to build a coal ash landfill in close proximity to the Missouri River, the source of much of the St. Louis area’s drinking water.  

Apr 14, 2015


Gloria Attoun, musician and organizer of the Washington River Festival, and Jeff Barrow, Manager of Missouri River Relief, talk with Jean about working with the community to keep our rivers clean.

Apr 7, 2015


Bob Gill, grassroots lobbyist for the Sierra Club, discusses how volunteer, citizen lobbyists differ from conventional lobbyists and how they engage legislators to advocate for environmental causes. 

Apr 7, 2015


Brian Ettling, activist for Climate Change solutions, discusses his first-hand experience with climate change as a park ranger, overcoming misinformation, and facing opposition in his work as part of the Climate Reality Project.

Mar 30, 2015

Dr. Eric Zencey, Professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, discusses the links between ecological sustainability and a country’s success. While the Gross Domestic Product is usually used to measure a country’s economic health, Zencey tells us about the Genuine Progress Indicator, and other alternative metrics that take sustainability and biodiversity into account.

Mar 23, 2015

Ed Maggart, head of The College School in Webster Groves, explains the benefits of Experiential Education. Maggart discusses how Experiential Education differs from conventional methods, why it works for both children and adults, and how it can be effective in teaching kids about the environment.

Mar 10, 2015


Ann Dettmer, Communications Manager of the Missouri American Water Company, and Colleen Scott from the Missouri Department of Conservation, discuss the struggles to conserve water in a society where an abundance of clean water is taken for granted.

Feb 24, 2015


Laura Carroll, co-author and editor of the second edition of Man Swarm: How Overpopulation is Killing the Wild World, dissects the global population boom and what a lack of action could mean for the rest of our environment.

Feb 17, 2015


Lark Rodman discusses her community-building work with Sadhana Forest in India, Haiti, and Kenya. Sadhana Forest aims to help rural villages develop a more sustainable environment through methods like cultivating food forests and restoring stripped-down lands back to the thriving ecosystems they once were.

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