Even in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, various local businesses, municipalities and individuals across the St. Louis metropolitan area are working hard to become better stewards of the environment, and the Clean Air Partnership is recognizing those that continue to pave the way for a more sustainable future. This month, we are delighted to shine a spotlight on Meridian Village-Lutheran Senior Services for their noteworthy green achievements and innovations that are helping clear the air in the region.
Meridian Village, a vibrant senior living community located in Glen Carbon, Ill., focuses on an approach that puts people first. This guiding principle drives the organization to help every resident live a life free of worry and full of opportunity. As a proud participant of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, Meridian Village continues to set the standard for senior living facilities going green and taking action to reduce environmental impact. During the 2019 Challenge, the organization received the Star Circle of Excellence Achievement Award and secured the third place title at the Leader Level – Owner Category.
With a commitment to make sustainability the core of their community culture, Meridian Village formed a Green Team comprised of residents and the Staff Director of Operations to assess and address residents’ sustainability interests and needs. The team developed materials and staffed collection stations to educate employees and fellow residents about plastic bag recycling and reducing contamination in the single stream. Other sustainability learning opportunities included guest presentations on recycling and carpooling from the EarthWays Center and RideFinders, an ENERGY STAR webinar viewing, and various field trips to the Missouri Botanical Garden and Watershed Nature Center for an up close and personal educational experience.
To further reduce environmental impact, the organization implemented special recycling support services, including an outreach program to evaluate recycling efforts and educate participants individually, as well as a “homebound pickup” service for physically disabled residents who still wish to participate. Group travel on company vehicles has also been an efficient option for both human energy and fuel use, including bus shuttles to grocery and other shopping locations, resident outings and special events.
Additionally, Meridian Village consulted with Heartlands Conservancy about developing a pollinator garden to attract a variety of bees and help flowering native plants grow, which also positively impacts our air quality!
Other impressive innovations include controlling light-spill from the property and a light/sleep hygiene project completed last year that allowed light dimming at the facility at night. This not only encourages better sleep patterns for residents, but also reduces energy usage to help keep the air quality in healthy ranges.
For additional information on the sustainable efforts underway by Meridian Village-Lutheran Senior Services and how other organizations can get involved in the Challenge, subscribe to the bi-monthly E-Newsletter or visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.