Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22. It is a day where we celebrate our land and take extra special steps to treat it right. You turn the tap off while your brushing your teeth, bring your own bag to the grocery store, and take your bike to work (we can do that now!). All those are really amazing things that you should to as much as you possibly can.
There are over 4 million people who come to The Forks every year. That’s a lot of garbage, a lot of water flowing, a lot of exhaust from cars, and a lot of power to keep our buildings at the right temperature. So, we decided we were going to do something to lessen our impact.
Here are few things we do every day to make every day Earth Day at The Forks:
In 2010, we installed a geothermal system that takes energy from the mighty forces that are our rivers and the ground around them. It uses energy stored in the earth, the river, ground water and recycles the energy produced in The Forks Market.
Did you know the diesel engine was originally designed to be fuelled using peanut oil?
In 2008, we started working with a local mechanic shop to build tractors, a Zamboni, a site truck, three of our gators, and a refrigerated reefer that all run on the oil from all the delicious fries and other goodies in The Market and turn it into biofuel.
In 2016, we teamed up with our friends at Beeproject Apiaries to install Winnipeg’s first urban beehive. Bees play a huge role in our ecosystem, and globally their population is on the decline. We're hoping that we can be good stewards of our environment and use it as an educational tool for people to understand bee importance too.
The 10,000-ish bees on top of the Caboose gather nectar and pollinate the flowers in our Public Orchard and the Prairie Garden. Then they make honey that is unique to The Forks. We call it Sweet Orchard Honey, and you can buy it at The Forks Info Desk in The Market.
Earth day bonus: On Sunday, the Children’s Museum is building a life-sized honeycomb and teaching kids about the importance of bees on planet Earth with Beeproject Apiaries. Get the deets.
We realized that 80% of our garbage is compostable, so that’s what we did. We installed a big ol’ BIOVATOR TM composting vessel that creates the perfect home for trillions of the right microbes and bacterias to breakdown organic waste. That super nutrient-rich soil is used in all the gardens on The Forks site to make our flowers and greenery happy and blooming.
Since changing all our water fixtures and installing two massive rainwater collection tanks in our parkade, we have save four Olympic swimming pools worth of water each year. We have two huge, beautiful bodies of water beside use, so why not use them.
On Sunday, we are hosting Target Zero Eco-Kids Tours presented by MMSM to teach the kiddos about sustainability and why they should do what they can to give the Earth some love.
The tours, created and executed in conjunction with Green Kids Inc., offers a 60 minute interactive walking experience for school aged children. Led by two actors, the tour stops at Target Zero hot spots like the Biovator, the geothermal loops, the rain water collectors near the parkade and finishes with a personal message the kids can do at home, reducing, reusing and recycling.
Each 60 minute tour is FREE and can accommodate up to 25 school children. Programming runs April through October. Booking must be made a minimum of 2 weeks in advance.
Since then, we’ve reduced our yearly carbon footprint from 1,179 to 210 metric tonnes, upped bike traffic by 62%, and saved multiple Olympic-sizes swimming pools worth of water per year.
We’re not stopping there! Keep your eyes peeled to see what’s in the works.