MLB Pitcher Brent SuterBrent Suter

MLB PITCHER     CARBON CATCHER

Brent ‘The Raptor’ Suter is disrupting Major League Baseball (MLB). When Suter, #35, isn’t pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers, his chalk-stained hands are full of environmental initiatives to make professional baseball a more sustainable sport. “We’re all part of the same natural system, so we all get to benefit from it. It’s exciting, but we have a long way to go.”

Suter has been on the offensive for the last 15 years. “The environment’s been on my heart since 2006,” he shares. “I started changing my behavior back then—taking shorter showers, using less energy, generally using only what I needed. And then in pro-ball, it advanced to installing solar panels, driving an electric car, composting, carpooling, launching campaigns, like #StrikeOutWaste, programs like Players for the Planet’s Save the Ocean, and a first-of-its-kind corporate partnership with SC Johnson to upcycle plastic cups in the stadiums. Really exciting – until COVID hit,” he laments.

His latest initiative, Sidelining Carbon, seeks to make meaningful climate action simple by helping professional sports teams offset their carbon emissions during travel (the players and/or team cover the costs associated with offsetting their carbon). “We [Brewers] just got our offsets fully funded, so we’re good for the year.” He’s also pitching a deal to compost all the Brewers’ clubhouse waste in 2021 and lobbying politicians to keep the environment in mind. Suter, a new gardener, eloquently philosophizes: “Set the conditions for nature to thrive—and she thrives.”

 

Who inspires Brent Suter?

Suter watches documentaries to get inspired. “Al Gore initially inspired me with An Inconvenient Truth, alerting me to how bad of a state we were in. It’s when I knew I wanted to study the environment.” People he follows on Twitter, like Katharine Hayhoe and Bill McKibben, “have great perspectives and give good information,” while on the technology side, he loves Elon Musk’s drive. “I drive one [a Tesla], and it’s awesome—and really promising for shifting to battery-charged transportation.” A friend of his, Benji Backer, who runs American Conservation Coalition and with whom he co-founded Sidelining Carbon, “is really inspiring. He lobbies Congress and reaches out to kids on college campuses about the environment.” And importantly, Benji is friends with Greta Thunberg, another big inspiration. “Benji, if you can arrange a call or something with Greta, let me know!” he laughs.

 


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Brent Suter