Spotlight On: Saint Louis Art Museum

Founded in 1879, the Saint Louis Art Museum is a world-renowned fine arts museum known for its outstanding and comprehensive collection spanning 5,000 years of cultures and genres. The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to recognize Saint Louis Art Museum’s air quality-friendly efforts that earned them the esteemed title of St. Louis Green Business Challenge Champion last year for completing work with the Leader scorecard and committing to continued implementation of deeper sustainability strategies. 

“The Saint Louis Art Museum continually values the St. Louis Green Business Challenge as a guide to achieve our sustainable goals,” said Maria Kveton, Museum Event Manager and Green Team Leader at Saint Louis Art Museum. “Having access to free tools such as the Virtual Brown Bag seminars and GreenBiz Tracker allows the Art Museum to connect with peers and learn about local green vendors and sustainable initiatives, and it helps us better track and report our efforts.” 

During the 2022 Challenge, the Saint Louis Art Museum replaced air handling units in its east main building to qualify for energy rebates and continued to retrofit lighting to energy-efficient LEDs in all Museum buildings. Doing so not only cut down on light pollution but also conserved up to 80% more energy than traditional lighting, such as fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. Additionally, by putting all hot water pumps into a loop system with frequency drives, the Museum helped to save energy by controlling motor speed and output, as well as further reduced energy consumption through improving domestic hot water system flow and heating the water with boilers instead of electricity to improve air quality. 

Last but not least, the Museum’s Green Team organized various eco-conscious events and activities, including an air quality-friendly volunteer litter cleanup in Forest Park for Earth Month, a virtual brown bag with recycling updates from the St. Louis City Recycles team, and a Green Living Festival Pop-up with the EarthWays Center of Missouri Botanical Garden that featured festival exhibitors in Sculpture Hall, a tour of the Art Hill flower gardens led by staff of Forest Park Forever, Museum docent tours highlighting works of art made with discarded or reused objects, and a presentation on eco-criticism by art curator Amy Torbert. They also established a checklist to reduce waste at future Museum events. 

For more information on the green efforts underway by the Saint Louis Art Museum and how your organization or municipality can get involved in the Challenge, subscribe to the bi-monthly E-Newsletter or visit, To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore the Clean Air Partnership’s website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair. 

Spotlight On: The City of Webster Groves

As the Clean Air Partnership continues to spotlight local municipalities committed to practicing sustainability, we are pleased to recognize Webster Groves for its dedication to implementing green strategies to maintain and improve a lasting quality of life for present and future generations, while retaining and improving its beautiful natural resources and environment. 

A proud participant in the 2022 St. Louis Green Cities Challenge, Webster Groves prioritized Phase 1 goals from its “Forever Webster Groves” Sustainability Plan developed by the Sustainability Commission, which will light the path to a sustainable future for all who live and work there. This plan provides objectives, methods and actions to tackle short- and long-term strategies to address environmental changes, strengthen sustainability and build a community of responsible stewards. 

“Connecting with other cities in the Challenge has been a source of inspiration,” said Jamie Hasemeier, Sustainability Commission Chair for Webster Groves. “Folks are doing remarkable things and the willingness to share their process and successes is beyond valuable. The Green Cities Challenge helps to create the spirit of collaboration, where connections are made, shared and valued. To work in sustainability requires one to have a healthy dose of hope. Being a part of the Challenge helps put that hope into action.” 

Among the city’s other impressive accomplishments to receive recognition in the Challenge was the introduction of new bike lanes and “sharrows” – which are road markings used to indicate a shared lane environment for bicycles and automobiles – during its Webster On Wheels (WOW) community bike event. The new lanes provided a three-foot buffer between pedestrians and the driving lanes to amplify safety measures and encourage residents to cycle more around their community. Additionally, the city participated in several community-wide events to hand out reusable bags to residents and discuss the many benefits of reducing plastic usage, which also largely benefits the region’s air quality. 

Moreover, city events like the “Pumpkin Smash” collected rotted pumpkins for composting following the Halloween holiday to help create nutrient-rich soil and reduce the amount of harmful methane gases that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. To further reduce environmental impact, the city also analyzed next steps for increasing electric vehicle charging availability and reducing energy consumption, as well as prepared ways to benchmark greenhouse gas emissions for city buildings. 

The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to recognize the efforts of municipalities like Webster Groves that continue to take action for cleaner air. For more information on the sustainable efforts underway by Webster Groves and how your organization or municipality can get involved in the Challenge, subscribe to the bi-monthly E-Newsletter or visit To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore the Clean Air Partnership’s website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair. 

Giving Thanks for Cleaner Air

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it’s a special time to come together with family and friends for a delicious meal and reflect on the many things to be grateful for. Unfortunately, this time of thankfulness tends to also become a time of wastefulness, as studies show that people living in America produce 25% more waste during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. 

As we plan out all the dishes that will be on our tables this year, it’s important to consider the impact that certain holiday traditions have on the planet and commit to greening dining festivities. That’s something for which everyone can be thankful, but it’s particularly meaningful for children, older adults and those who suffer from lung diseases that make them especially vulnerable to poor air quality. 

Start by sourcing as many of your ingredients as possible locally to help reduce emissions produced by transport trucks. The less your produce has to travel, the less waste is produced, and the smaller the environmental impact. With so many loved ones gathered at the table for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s also not uncommon for regular plates, cups, napkins and silverware to be swapped out for disposables. Instead of buying tableware for one-time use, opt for your favorite set of dishes this year since small changes can lead to a much bigger effect, helping to keep the region’s air quality in healthier ranges. 

With the holiday season also comes the spending season, where so many take advantage of can’t-miss deals this time of year. For those who want to shop but avoid the lines, Cyber Monday offers all the benefits of Black Friday shopping but from the comfort and convenience of your home, creating a stress-free experience that helps reduce environmental impact and improve air quality. Keep in mind that consolidating your online orders to one store also eliminates the need for excess packaging. Moreover, if you’re planning to purchase any electronics or appliances, go for the best green alternatives by checking for the ENERGY STAR® mark. ENERGY STAR-certified products use less energy than standard models, ultimately saving money on utility bills while helping to protect the environment and clear the air. You can also make sustainable purchase decisions by choosing products made from eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton or recycled plastic, or buying an experience to gift. 

This Thanksgiving, when counting life’s blessings and listing those things to be grateful for, don’t forget to add clean air to the list. And thank you for all you do so we can all breathe easier. To learn more, visit our website tips section at, like the Clean Air Partnership on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.