Earth Day Q&A: Suter on environment and more

Brewers left-hander featured in Discovery Education live chat

April 22nd, 2020

MILWAUKEE -- From the clubhouse to his home kitchen, Brewers left-hander has amended his lifestyle to be as environmentally conscious as possible.

So, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Suter shared some of what he’s learned, and what motivated him to become Major League Baseball’s “greenest” player, in a live Twitter chat on @DiscoveryEd.

Suter graduated from Harvard with an Environmental Science and Public Policy degree in 2012, the same year the Brewers selected him in the 31st round of the MLB Draft. He overcame the long odds facing low-round picks -- especially pitchers with a fastball in the mid-80-mph range -- and made it to the big leagues in '16.

With each passing year, Suter gained a stronger foothold in MLB and used his platform to spread the word about the importance of being Earth-friendly. Like the time in Spring Training in 2019, when Suter, while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, acquired reusable water bottles for teammates and convinced them to help limit use of single-use plastics.

That same spring, Suter helped convince the Brewers to adopt biodegradable to-go boxes in the commissary. He doesn’t use them, however. For years now, Suter has packed his own lunch in a reusable meal kit.

And this past winter, Suter and teammate Corey Knebel helped launch a partnership between the Brewers and SC Johnson, a company based in Racine, Wisc., to recycle all of the plastic cups used at Miller Park into bottles for the company’s Scrubbing Bubbles product. In 2019, the Brewers went through about 1.3 million cups.

“It’s really a great step in the right direction,” Suter said. “People are becoming more aware and more concerned about their everyday actions.”

“Suter is, of course, our expert on environmental issues,” Knebel added. “He has definitely changed a lot of guys’ perspectives in the clubhouse, especially mine.”

On Earth Day, Suter shared his message with a wider audience. The Twitter chat is a complement to Discovery Education’s “50 Ways to Earth Day” program, a collection of activities that students, educators and families can do to make a difference for the planet.

Here’s a sampling of other questions and answers from the chat:

Any chance you're working with the Brewers to improve the bubblers at Miller Park to include bottle filling stations? Would love to stop wasting single-use plastic bottles on gameday.
-- @goldgiraffes

We are definitely trying to, but we are trying to work around the no-bottles rule in the stadiums. (The rule is in place due to safety concerns from bottles falling from the upper decks.)

What's the easiest way each person can actively change their daily life, and what are you most excited about as we develop as a green society?
-- Luke J.

What we eat has a big impact on the environment, so eating more plants can make a huge difference. I’m most excited about cleaner air and water from clean energy production.

Any advice on a 19-year-old former high school pitcher trying to make a college team?
-- David A.

Believe in every pitch you throw, thumb positioning can make a big difference for movement of your pitches and do your best to keep your rotator cuff as strong and durable as possible.

I heard you get environmentally friendly lunchboxes to the clubhouse and sometimes get some for your teammates. What do they think about it, and do they generally learn about how to be more environmentally friendly after learning from you?
-- Ahaan R.

I can say I’ve had an impact on several guys but working on the others.

What do you miss most about baseball? How are you keeping in shape from home?
-- Christyne

I miss the people (fans, teammates, coaches, etc.) the most. I have a gym and throwing area in my basement to keep in shape.

What are the top three things you think stadiums should do to limit their impact?
-- Taylor W.

Invest in solar energy, LED lightbulbs and compost.