Do Your Share for Cleaner Air and Celebrate Earth Day 2022

With spring in full bloom and Earth Day upon us, now is the perfect time to appreciate the planet for all its beauty and be reminded of sustainable practices to keep it looking clean for generations to come. While volunteering to pick up trash on the side of the road, collecting recyclables and planting flowers are all popular Earth Day activities, there’s so much more that we can do to help protect and restore our planet the other 364 days of the year. You can load up on ideas as the oldest and largest Earth Day Festival in the Midwest returns to the Muny Grounds in Forest Park this weekend on April 23-24.

The St. Louis Earth Day Festival provides area residents the unique opportunity to learn about sustainable products and services offered by local businesses and organizations, meet local area non-profits that share Earth Day values, as well as enjoy local entertainment and the best eats from Green Dining Alliance restaurants. This year will also feature rock climbing, yoga with the Collective STL, concerts by Fire Dog and Sharon Bear, a bird show from the World Bird Sanctuary and an awards presentation to recognize leadership in areas of utmost importance: climate, food, waste, education and environmental justice.

The Earth Day Challenge is another great way the festival is working to make the experience even more sustainable for attendees. Individuals are encouraged to use sustainable methods of transportation to get to and from the festival, such as riding transit, walking, biking or carpooling; bring a refillable water bottle or reusable bag; commit to starting a compost bin or service for household food scraps; and try a vegetarian or vegan meal option at the festival. By completing at least two of the four tasks, festival-goers will have successfully completed the Earth Day Challenge and be entered into a raffle for the chance to win various prizes. Some of the prizes include a Big Muddy Adventures canoe trip for two and $25 guide shop gift card; an overnight stay at Union Station with (4) combo tickets to the St. Louis Aquarium, Wheel, etc.; a Missouri Botanical Garden membership package; a BWorks Bicycle with a helmet, lock, tire pump, and light kit; Trailnet gift basket; and much more.

For more information on the St. Louis Earth Day Festival, click here. To learn more about the link between living greener and our air quality, visit the Clean Air Partnership website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Travel Sustainably to Root for the Redbirds This Baseball Season

As the St. Louis Cardinals prepare to return to Busch Stadium on Thursday, thousands of baseball fans will flock to the streets of downtown St. Louis to celebrate the highly anticipated home opener. While there will be lots of food, fun and entertainment for families and fans both inside and outside the stadium throughout the day, the festivities are anything but a party for the environment.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help area residents take voluntary steps toward improving the quality of the air we breathe, starting by taking advantage of the alternative transportation modes the city has to offer. You might even be surprised at how simple it can be to adopt just one of many possible eco-friendly actions into your game day travel plans to reduce harmful emissions and help people all across the St. Louis region breathe easier this baseball season.

Metro Transit is a great option for fans to get downtown and join the festivities – safely and conveniently – while also avoiding traffic, congestion and parking hassles. Hop aboard MetroBus to catch the #40 North Broadway route or ride on any one of 13 MetroBus routes to the Civic Center Transit Center, which is located just a few blocks west of Busch Stadium. Otherwise, leave your car at any one of 20 free Park-Ride lots located at MetroLink stations in Missouri and Illinois, purchase a $5 round-trip MetroLink ticket and ride to the Stadium MetroLink Station to get to Busch Stadium, Ballpark Village or Kiener Plaza. You can also take MetroLink to one of the other five downtown MetroLink stations to enjoy pre-game rallies and activities while cutting down on harmful auto emissions.

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft also match drivers of private vehicles to those seeking transportation and are another great option to eliminate the use of multiple vehicles. With transportation-related emissions being one of the biggest contributors to air pollution, you can do your share for cleaner air by opting for a ridesharing service to get you to the ballpark or carpool with friends to cut down on the number of vehicles on the road, which ultimately leads to fewer automobile emissions, reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality. Last but not least, if you’re looking to enjoy a brew or two before the game, consider taking a complimentary shuttle from local establishments like Big Daddy’s Soulard or Llywelyn’s Pub – that way you’ll also save money, avoid the hassles of parking and help keep the region’s air quality in healthy ranges!

For more great tips on how to enjoy a greener game day experience and achieve cleaner air all year long, visit the Clean Air Partnership website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair. GO CARDS!

Citizens for Modern Transit Reminds Commuters About its Try & Ride Program as Gas Prices Soar

As prices at the pump continue to rise, Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) – the region’s transit advocacy organization – is encouraging area residents to consider utilizing public transit this spring. The organization has a FREE Try & Ride program that makes it easy for those who are new to MetroLink or MetroBus to familiarize themselves with the region’s integrated system to get them where they need to go. With transportation-related emissions being one of the biggest contributors to air pollution, taking public transportation is also a great way to reduce harmful auto emissions to help keep the air quality in healthy ranges.

“Public transit is a safe, convenient and cost-effective transportation option, but many shy away from it because of the unknowns – including which route or line to take, how to purchase tickets and more,” commented Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “The Try & Ride program addresses these concerns head-on. It has helped more than 6,000 individuals familiarize themselves with the system and has been credited with turning many first-time transit users into regular transit commuters.”

The Try & Ride program is open to any Missouri or Illinois residents who don’t already utilize the St. Louis region’s public transportation system for their workday commutes. Upon registering, each program participant receives personalized transit routes, a month of complimentary tickets, a journal to jot down reminders and a list of tips for using transit. The program requires riders to commit to utilizing the bus or train for one additional month at their own expense for a total of two months.

Additionally, registration automatically enrolls individuals in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides subsidized access, a cab ride, rental car to ride-hailing services like Lyft in the case of an emergency or unexpected schedule change at work.

“A monthly transit pass is $78 and provides unlimited rides on the MetroLink and MetroBus,” added Cella. “This is an affordable means for traveling, especially considering gas is $4 a gallon.”

To learn more about CMT’s Try & Ride Program or to register, visit cmt-stl.org. For more information on the link between sustainable transportation and our air quality, visit the Clean Air Partnership website at cleanair-stlouis.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

 

Spotlight On: The City of Alton

As a returning participant of the St. Louis Green Cities Challenge in 2021, the City of Alton remained committed to sustainable practices and programs that improve the health and quality of life of its community, making it a great place for individuals to live, work and play.

Founded in 1837 and located just 25 miles north of St. Louis, the City of Alton is full of historic charm, recreational opportunities, and business prospects. During the 2021 Challenge, Alton and other participating municipalities addressed sustainability within the range of operational requirements unique to their local governments, incorporated a sustainability policy and practiced fundamentals, including addressing measures defined by OneSTL, the regional plan for sustainable development.

Leading these initiatives is the Alton Cool City Committee, which strives to create a greener community now and for the future. “The biggest challenges we face – climate change and increasing gaps of income inequality – are inescapably hitched together,” said Greg Caffey Director of Planning & Development for the City of Alton. “We live in complex, challenging times. With every tree planted and each street redesigned to be pedestrian and bike friendly, with each new solar installation and restoration of a historic building, and with every public meeting attended to address racism, sexism, or sustainability we contribute to a community strong with nature’s vitality and healthy neighborhoods for all people.”

Among the city’s impressive accomplishments to receive recognition in the Challenge was the submission of an Illinois Solar For All (ILSFA) Environmental Justice Community Self-Designation application, which aims to bring solar power to areas that will benefit most from access to natural energy. This focus is based on the principle that all people should be protected from pollution and that all populations have a right to a clean and healthy environment. The city also executed an option agreement with Ameresco, Inc., a renewable energy and energy efficiency company, for the development of a solar farm at the former Alby Street landfill. Furthermore, the City of Alton worked to maintain a partnership with EPA Green Power Communities, which encourages large corporations; small and medium-sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; non-profit institutions; and colleges and universities to use green power voluntarily to protect human health and the environment.

Additional green improvements were made in the community with the construction of the Alton Splash Pad Park that features nature-inspired play areas and interpretive displays about the Mississippi River and the importance of water stewardship. The City of Alton also amended its refuse collection agreement with Republic Services to increase the usage of recycling bins, volume pickup, and year-round recycling collection services, which helps to reduce the amount of waste that winds up in landfills and eliminates the production of harmful methane gases that pollute the air.

For additional information on the sustainable efforts underway by the City of Alton and how your municipality can get involved in the Challenge, subscribe to the bi-monthly E-Newsletter or visit stlouisgreenchallenge.com. Registration for the 2022 Challenge is also open now. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore the Clean Air Partnership website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Spring Forward for Air Quality-Friendly Habits

As we prepare to “spring forward” one hour and adjust our clocks on Saturday night for Daylight Saving Time, that means the days will be getting longer, weather is about to get warmer and the sunshine will soon be chasing away what’s left of the winter blues. Though spring is in the air and warm weather activities that we’ve longed for are great fun, a rise in temperature can also lead to a greater risk of poor air quality conditions, which makes it good to remember that – when it comes to air quality – we can always continue to do our share for cleaner air. 

Thankfully, all it takes is a few small changes to incorporate sustainable and eco-friendly choices into our day-to-day routines. Here are some helpful tips to consider for living a greener lifestyle this spring and working to keep the air quality in healthy ranges: 

  • Walk, Bike or Take Public Transit – When weather conditions are favorable, replace car trips with walking, bicycling or using public transit to reduce air pollution. Area residents can also take advantage of other options such as carpooling or vanpooling to cut down on the number of solo commutes this spring. Fewer vehicles on the roads and highways means fewer automobile emissions, reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality.
  • Greening Your Cleaning – By making environmentally conscious choices in the way you clean, you’ll make your home (and the planet) a healthier place to live and breathe for all. Consider creating your own products by mixing a little warm water with either baking soda or white vinegar for the perfect all-purpose cleaner. You can take green cleaning one step further by opting for rags from cut up old clothes, towels, or sheets that can be washed and reused any time instead of paper towels to reduce waste and save money on paper products. 
  • Clear Out the Clutter – Spring cleaning is the perfect time to go through closets and get rid of the things you no longer need or use. Rather than dumping everything into plastic trash bags, take a few extra minutes to dispose of them responsibly and sustainably. Keep items out of overcrowded landfills by asking family and friends if they have use for any of your unwanted items or donate them to charity!
  • Make Your Cookout a Greener Event – It wouldn’t be spring without spending time outdoors and dusting off the grill to enjoy a cookout with friends and family. Charcoal grills, however, release about twice as much carbon dioxide per hour as gas grills do, so you can do your share for cleaner air by using a gas barbecue grill instead. Also, if you’re going with gas, invest in a high-quality, energy efficient model and make sure the gas tanks are refillable to cut back on cost and harmful waste. 

There’s no better time to start practicing air-quality friendly habits than with a new season upon us. By incorporating some of these tips into your everyday life, you can help people all across the St. Louis region breathe easier this spring. For more great ways to achieve cleaner air year-round, explore the Clean Air Partnership website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair. 

Spotlight On: Ameren Missouri

The St. Louis Green Business Challenge remained a leader of sustainability in the St. Louis region last year by continuing to deliver Triple Bottom Line results (fiscal, social and environmental) to businesses of all types and sizes across the bi-state area. Like the Clean Air Partnership, the Challenge focuses on encouraging and inspiring voluntary steps to help improve the environment and air quality in the region, and we’re pleased to highlight efforts of green businesses such as Ameren Missouri that continue to take action for cleaner air by channeling their time and energy towards practicing sustainability.

A returning participant of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, Ameren Missouri strives to ensure all customers – including the underserved and vulnerable – will benefit from their efforts. Growing energy efficiency programs to include more St. Louis homes and businesses of all sizes saves money, energy and brings the company closer to its net-zero carbon emissions goal, which is why the company elected to develop and report on their Champion Innovation Project – Leading the Way to a Sustainable Energy Future – during the 2021 Challenge.

To help reach their goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Ameren Missouri continued to make transformative steps by adding 700 MW of wind power last year and a water reduction goal targeting 95% reduction in withdrawn water for thermal generation. Currently, recycled water is used at several company facilities with 99% of water withdrawn being discharged back to the environment.

Additionally, through Ameren Missouri’s Community Savers® Program, property owners, community managers and income-eligible customers can receive energy-saving products for their home, along with rebates when they make eligible energy efficient upgrades. Since October 2020, Ameren Missouri residential customers have received 17,279 zero cost Sensi and Nest smart thermostats to help cut down on costs and to control their energy use, which also positively benefits the region’s air quality!

Other noteworthy initiatives include a new Sustainability Employee Resource Group (SERG), which hosted a three-talk biodiversity lunch ‘n’ learn series and a company-wide, virtual sustainability scavenger hunt. Moreover, Ameren Missouri supported the successful launch of the St. Louis Vehicle Electrification Rides for Senior (SiLVERS) EV Program with charging station construction incentives to continue electrification efforts in underserved communities.

Looking ahead to a sustainable energy future, Ameren Missouri also established a Supply Chain Sustainability Department that has already engaged 92 top suppliers to discuss increasing focus on sustainable action within the company’s supply chain, in addition to updating their Supplier Code of Conduct to continue formalizing the internalization and defining of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) topics.

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 stlouisgreenchallenge.com. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore the Clean Air Partnership website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Throw Some Extra Green in the Mix for Mardi Gras Celebrations This Weekend

While the coronavirus shut down Mardi Gras parades and carnivals in cities across the globe last year, the tradition is making its highly anticipated comeback for 2022 in St. Louis. Being home to one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of the Big Easy, the crown jewel of Soulard’s Mardi Gras season returns in just a few days, where revelers from far and wide will gather for the Grand Parade that begins at Busch Stadium and proceeds through the streets of Downtown South and Soulard, ending at Anheuser-Busch Brewery. And while green is one of the three prominent colors you’re guaranteed to see this weekend, the event is notoriously known for being anything but.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to incorporate sustainability into your favorite ‘Mardi Pardi’ plans, and you might even be surprised at how simple it can be to do so. By adopting just one of many possible eco-friendly actions, you can have a significant impact on improving the region’s air quality and helping people all over St. Louis breathe easier. That’s something everyone can celebrate!

For starters, to help eliminate multiple vehicles on the roads converging in Soulard, Metro is making it easy for riders to let the good times roll on Saturday, Feb. 26, while avoiding street closures, traffic tie-ups and the search for parking. MetroLink is a convenient option with the Stadium MetroLink Station located just a short walk from all the action. Individuals can also avoid parking headaches by leaving their vehicle at one of 20 free Park-Ride lots in Missouri and Illinois and riding MetroLink, with trains arriving and departing every 10 minutes at the Stadium Station and at all MetroLink stations between the Forest Park-DeBaliviere and Fairview Heights stations. Additionally, MetroBus is another great way to get to the celebration, with the #10 Gravois-Lindell, #30 Arsenal and #73 Carondelet MetroBus routes serving stops near Soulard. For real-time traffic updates to avoid delays and congestion on parade day, be sure to also check out MoDOT’s Gateway Guide at gatewayguide.com.

It wouldn’t be a proper Mardi Gras celebration without beads, but these popular accessories made up of cheap plastic strings and other toxic materials like polystyrene and lead also pose an unnecessary threat to the environment. Rather than littering the streets or tossing them into trash cans, consider disposing of your beads in a proper recycling container or, if you’re in tune with your crafty side, try reusing them in your next art project. Tons of trash in the form of non-biodegradable Styrofoam cups, aluminum cans and glass bottles also get left behind on parade day, which eventually wind up in landfills, so keep an eye out for recycling containers along the parade route to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to poor air quality.

Do your share for cleaner air by keeping green in your mind and not just your wardrobe this Mardi Gras. To learn more about the link between living greener and our air quality, visit our website at cleanair-stlouis.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Spotlight On: The Cities of Wentzville and Wildwood

As we’ve rounded out another extraordinary year of highlighting the tremendous work that several local organizations and municipalities have put forth to help improve the environment and air quality in their communities, we’re pleased to recognize the green efforts of two final participants from the 2020 St. Louis Green Cities Challenge – Wentzville and Wildwood, MO.   

With a strong commitment to the mission of the Green Cities Challenge, the City of Wentzville’s employee-led Green Team fosters sustainable practices citywide and encourages all employees to reduce their environmental footprints. Through quarterly meetings, projects such as pollinator plantings, holiday gift-bag exchanges, policy review and more, the city continues to be resourceful and environmentally responsible. 

For starters, Wentzville’s Parks and Recreation staff swapped out the existing Holiday Night Light scene display for LED lights. Since starting this gradual change about three years ago, the city decreased overall power usage for the displays by an astounding 62%. An additional 12,000 bulbs will be changed out this year, converting nearly all the lightbulbs to LEDs. Since LED bulbs are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting and draw far less power, this reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions, which also positively benefits the region’s air quality! Additionally, the city’s Employee Committee purchased reusable utensils for quarterly staff luncheons to prevent an estimated 1,000 plastic utensils from going to landfills each year. 

To further reduce environmental impact, the city’s Stormwater Advisory Committee and Green Team completed a pollinator planting at the Schroeder Creek Boulevard – William Dierberg Drive roundabout. More than 700 native flowers were planted to help the local ecosystem and increase biodiversity. Moreover, the Green Team collaboratively built a sustainability-focused employee resource website with an assortment of eco-friendly offerings, including  a “Green at Home” section with activities like composting, rain scaping and educational activities for kids; a “Recycling in the Office” section featuring the what’s, how’s and why’s of recycling; “A Green Guide” with tips on where and how to start your sustainable journey; and a calendar of sustainability-focused days, regional events and opportunities. 

With Wildwood being one of the largest municipalities in Missouri and St. Louis County – in both population and land mass – the city has shown that it’s possible to develop businesses and build homes while protecting the beauty and space of its land. Among their impressive green innovations to receive recognition in the 2020 Challenge was a community planting project that installed at least 20 native trees and hundreds of native plants at LaCave Trailhead. The City of Wildwood also removed over 100 ash trees affected by the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive jewel beetle that feeds on ash species, and replaced over 80 trees with Missouri native species using a Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grant. Last but not least, the city installed new and improved recycling bins with relevant labels in all City Hall meeting rooms to prevent contamination to recycling and promote proper waste disposal. 

In the coming months, the Clean Air Partnership will continue to shine a spotlight on local clean air advocates and the latest St. Louis Green Business/Green Cities Challenge Class of 2021. For more information on how to get your company or municipality involved in this year’s Challenge, contact program manager Jean Ponzi at [email protected] or subscribe to the Challenge’s weekly E-newsletter here. And stay tuned for more information on registration for the 2022 Challenge, which officially opens on Feb. 21! 

To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, be sure to check out our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.  

 

 

Ringing in the New Year with Sustainable Resolutions

During the month of January, the “new year, new me” mentality is top of mind for many, with popular New Year’s resolutions focused on eating better, hitting the gym more, pursuing a career ambition or taking up a new hobby. While few people actually stick to extreme goals, we oftentimes overlook other aspects of daily life where simple changes can have a significant impact on our health and the planet. 

Making the conscious choice to go green in 2022 and resolving to adopt some eco-friendly actions will result in multiple positive changes to your wallet, your well-being and the region’s air quality. You might even be surprised to learn how truly easy it can be to incorporate sustainability into your everyday routine. If you’re unsure where to begin, here are a few tips to consider for greening your resolutions for the year ahead: 

  • Walk, Bike or Take Public Transit – Since transportation-related emissions have always been one of the biggest contributors to air pollution, the choices people make on how to get around considerably affect air quality and the health of the region. Actions like walking and biking instead of using a vehicle for short trips, taking public transportation or sharing the ride to work in a carpool or vanpool are all great ways to reduce harmful auto emissions to help keep the air quality in healthy ranges.

  • Green Your Home – When your appliances have reached the end of their useful lives, opt for new ones that are Energy Star® rated to maximize efficiency. Switching out incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, putting timers on lights and investing in smart power strips will also help to eliminate unnecessary electricity use. While reducing and reusing are the most effective ways to save money and resources, recycling is another vital piece of greening your home by helping to keep waste out of landfills and turning glass, paper, plastic and other items into new materials. Set up separate recycling bins in your home so it’s easy for all family members to participate and consider purchasing recycled products to help clean the air. 
  • Nix Bottled Water – Did you know that up to 80 percent of single-use water bottles in the United States never get recycled? Not only does the production of plastic water bottles contribute significant amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, their litter lingers for years on end. Instead of buying single-use bottles when you’re out and about, consider buying a reusable water bottle you can take with you and refill as needed to cut down on unnecessary waste and help improve air quality.

  • Go Paperless When Possible – There are many places where you can opt out of paper – whether that be credit card bills, receipts or even your favorite household cleaning products. Paper towels, for example, may be useful and convenient but collectively contribute to deforestation and an ever-increasing waste problem. Microfiber cloths, cloth or cotton napkins are great alternatives to keep on hand for kitchen spills and messes that are also more sustainable and cost-effective. Signing up for online banking, opting for email versions of receipts, printing on both sides of a sheet or using the back side of old documents for scrap paper are also resourceful ways to reduce paper waste. This helps to save trees and cut back on air pollution and water consumption associated with producing and transporting paper.

  • Think Globally, Buy Locally – Locally grown food offers countless benefits and also helps to reduce environmental impact. Imported food is often shipped hundreds and sometimes even thousands of miles to arrive at the supermarket. The greater distance the food has to travel, the more fossil fuels are consumed. Buying local produce reduces the amount of travel time for big transport trucks, ultimately improving the air quality by cutting back on air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. 

For more great tips on how we can all work together to achieve cleaner air in 2022, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair. Have a happy and healthy New Year! 

Spotlight On: Madison County Planning & Development

As the St. Louis metro area continues to experience temperatures that have been warmer than usual for this time of year, the first day of winter is just days away, highlighting the importance of maintaining our environment and air quality. That’s why this month, we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on Madison County Planning & Development for their noteworthy green achievements and innovations that are having a positive effect on the environment and helping clear the air in the region.

During the 2020 St. Louis Green Business Challenge, Madison County Planning & Development earned the esteemed title of Challenge Champion for completing work with the Leader scorecard and committing to continued implementation of deeper sustainability strategies. The organization also elected to develop and report on an Innovation Project – Madison County Clean Communities – to promote cleaner neighborhoods, businesses and organizations.

The project is modeled after the Riverbend Trash Tag Challenge, which started when a group of Alton area residents — in partnership with Alton Main Street, the Sierra Club Piasa Palisades Group and The Nature Institute — launched a social media campaign focused on reducing litter in their community. Madison County Clean Communities (MCCC) seeks to expand the scope and scale of this existing framework to serve all of Madison County. As a result, Madison County Planning & Development launched the Madison County Clean Communities Facebook group last fall, gaining over 600 members in the first six weeks. Since then, the group has also identified over 100 individuals willing to step up as community leaders, along with over 40 potential partner groups and organizations.

“Madison County Clean Communities launched online in September, and we’re off to a great start. Community input and brainstorming processes clearly showed one thing: this program’s top value is our community members,” said Andi Campbell Yancey, Sustainability Coordinator for Madison County Planning & Development. “So many dedicated individuals throughout the county want to make a difference but aren’t sure how. MCCC aims to unite those individuals behind a common cause and connect them to resources and opportunities for sustainable action. We are so excited to grow this initiative and see what we can accomplish in the years to come.”

To further guide the program’s creation and implementation efforts, Madison County Planning & Development sustainability staff created a survey to gauge public perception on littering in the area and to identify additional community leaders, partner organizations and target areas. In all, they received more than 200 survey responses from Madison County residents to help improve the program.

Another impressive initiative that earned Madison County Clean Communities recognition in the Challenge was a focus on public outreach and education about the harmful impacts litter has on local communities, the environment and air quality. MCCC elevated its anti-litter messaging through their Small Green Steps Newsletter, social media accounts, Green Schools Program, press releases and more to do their share for cleaner air and reduce their overall carbon footprint. Moreover, MCCC has also partnered with Heartlands Conservancy to collaborate on wetlands and watershed cleanups in 2021.

For additional information on Madison County Planning & Development and how your company can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, subscribe to their weekly E-Newsletter or visit 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.