Cheers to 51 Years of Restoring Our Earth

With spring in full bloom and Earth Day right around the corner, it’s time to roll out the green carpet in honor of the holiday’s 51st anniversary on April 22. Though Earth Day has gone somewhat digital again this year with COVID-related concerns and municipal restrictions on large gatherings resulting in the cancellation of popular events like the St. Louis Earth Day Festival, a series of reimagined, socially-distanced celebrations will continue to help promote green living and inspire area residents to take action for environmental causes.

For starters, Earth Day Celebration Kits – sponsored by the Metropolitan Sewer District, Great Rivers Greenway, Metro Lighting and the St. Louis Aquarium Foundation – are available this week to pick up at several local establishments and include Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Packets, a collapsible metal travel straw, LED bulbs, a Build A Habitat Activity, free tickets to Trailnet’s Bike Scavenger Hunt, a map to Forest ReLeaf’s Great Tree Hunt and more. From now until April 25, select GDA-certified restaurants stretching all the way from St. Louis City to Ballwin will also offer special menu items in celebration of Green Dining Week, where 20% of the proceeds from sales will go to earthday365 and its programs like the Green Dining Alliance. The full list of participating restaurants can be found here.

On the morning of Earth Day, a virtual panel discussion on “Watershed Resiliency through Food Waste Reduction and Food Justice” will feature Maggie McCoy of the Earthways Center, Nick Speed of Ujima, and Tyrean Lewis of Heru Urban Farms. Viewers can expect to gain in-depth and personal perspectives from the panelists as they explore Food Waste and Food Justice in our watershed as part of the Global Freshwaters Summit. Rounding out the Resilience Speaker Series will be a keynote presentation on April 23 by Mary Ann Lazarus on “Resilience and the Power of Community”. This important conversation will focus on the power of community to strengthen resilience so that the St. Louis region can survive, adapt and thrive in the face of a changing future. Online registration for these virtual events is available here.

Additionally, EarthDay365’s Environmental Justice Days of Action series will culminate on April 24 with the Dutchtown Neighborhood Cleanup. In collaboration with the Community Improvement District of Dutchtown, Employment Connection and several neighborhood associations, event volunteers will do their share for cleaner air by providing much needed litter cleanup along the streets and alleyways. To further these green efforts and help reduce food waste going to the landfill, individuals that don’t have the ability to compost can also drop off their food scraps at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market Food Waste Outreach Booth on Saturday from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The good work for our planet doesn’t have to stop there as a wealth of resources are available to people all across the St. Louis region and beyond for celebrating Earth Day each and every day to help create a better world for generations to come. Incorporating a few simple lifestyle changes into our daily routines, such as walking and biking more, utilizing the region’s public transit system, combining errands into a single trip and avoiding vehicle idling, are all great ways to significantly help reduce harmful emissions and keep our air quality in healthy ranges.

To learn more about the link between living greener and our air quality, visit our website tips section at, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Spotlight On: Bayer

With sustainable development becoming a core element of Bayer’s corporate strategy, the company aims to achieve long-term returns and generate a positive impact for both society and the environment.  Bayer’s St. Louis locations are continuously working to reduce their environmental footprint by creating and maintaining habitats for native species to flourish, emphasizing the importance of proper recycling, and conserving energy and water, all of which helped them to earn the esteemed title of Challenge Champion in the 2020 St. Louis Green Business Challenge.

During the 2020 Challenge, Bayer made good on their pledge to improve climate and environmental protection as part of their Champion Innovation Project, where Bayer restored two wetlands at its Chesterfield campus. The project provided improved monitoring of prairie habitats to include identifying species presence and created a new, more detailed monitoring form for employee use. Bayer also developed new mobile and web applications to log wildlife habitat observations (nest box monitoring) on its campus, and installed three purple martin nesting houses and 24 nesting gourds.

Other noteworthy accomplishments include the renewal of Bayer’s Wildlife Habitat Council Gold Certification – which is the only voluntary sustainability standard designed for broad-based biodiversity enhancement and conservation education activities on corporate landholdings – for their Creve Coeur campus. Moreover, the company had an average landfill diversion rate of 70% year-to-date in 2020 when submitting its latest data for the Challenge.

As a new leader in agriculture, Bayer also has a heightened responsibility and the unique potential to advance farming for the benefit of society and the planet. The company’s crop science division has turned the power of innovation toward further increasing sustainability by developing climate-smart solutions and creating innovative business models that benefit farmers, tackle climate change and drive towards a carbon-zero future for agriculture. To tackle such an ambitious goal, the company has focused its efforts where they can make the biggest impact, working collaboratively with growers and partners across the value chain to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of crops grown in the fields, all while reducing emissions in the company’s own operations.

With an additional goal of being climate neutral by 2030, the company has vowed to implement energy efficiency measures at its sites and convert 100 percent of the purchased electricity to renewable energies. The remaining emissions will be offset by purchasing certificates from climate protection projects with recognized quality standards.

The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to recognize the tremendous efforts of businesses like Bayer that continue to do their share for cleaner air by channeling their time and energy towards practicing sustainability. For additional information on how your company can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, subscribe to their weekly E-Newsletter or visit 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.

Spotlight On: The City of Brentwood

As the Clean Air Partnership continues to spotlight local municipalities utilizing innovative and sustainable approaches to create a cleaner, greener environment for its constituents, we’re pleased to recognize the City of Brentwood.

This participant in the 2020 Green Cities Challenge is addressing sustainability within the range of operational requirements unique to its local government and serves as an inspiration for other communities. Throughout the course of the Challenge, participating municipalities incorporated a sustainability policy and practiced fundamentals, including addressing measures defined by OneSTL, the regional plan for sustainable development. Among the city’s impressive accomplishments to receive recognition in the Challenge was the establishment of a sustainability commission, recycling education, installation of electric vehicle charging stations, launch of a new city-wide sustainability initiative and more.

Other noteworthy innovations included planting 118 trees to help rebuild urban forests. Brentwood worked with Missouri Community Forest Council, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, Great Rivers Greenway and the Missouri Department of Conservation to connect residents to their urban forest by attaching brightly colored “Trees Work” signs to trees throughout Brentwood. These markings identified the different species and highlighted how each tree is an essential worker in the community and helps to improve air quality. The city also continued work on its woodland restoration project to eradicate invasive exotic plant species that posed a threat to the environment.

Additionally, the City of Brentwood promoted the Grow Solar St. Louis group-buy program, which builds an open and advantageous solar market that provides long-term benefits to communities. To promote energy efficiency and reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gas emissions, the city completed its sports courts project with upgraded remote-controlled LED lights and replaced all exterior park fixtures with high efficiency LED bulbs. They also installed three solar-powered streetlights and two solar-powered, radar-enabled speed limit signs.

To further reduce environmental impact, Brentwood hosted four residential paper shredding events and electronic recycling drives, and continued to educate residents about proper curbside recycling through social media, newsletters and their website. They also added a water-bottle filling station to City Hall during building renovations and provided Brentwood-branded refillable bottles to all city employees and elected officials to cut down on the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills.

Last but not least, Brentwood Bound – the city’s comprehensive plan to renew the Manchester Road corridor between Brentwood Boulevard and Hanley Road – encompasses three eco-friendly components: Deer Creek Flood Mitigation, Manchester Road Improvements and the Deer Creek Greenway Connector. Together, these projects are helping the city to overcome long-term challenges and enhance the community for decades to comes, all while providing an opportunity for park and recreational spaces to be enjoyed by all Brentwood residents.

For additional information on the sustainable efforts underway by the City of Brentwood and how your organization or municipality can get involved in the Challenge, subscribe to their weekly E-Newsletter or visit 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.