We’ve got an impressive goal with our Target Zero initiative: zero garbage, zero water consumption and zero carbon emissions. This year, we saw some real green when it came to this initiative, both environmental and cold, hard cash.
There are some pretty cool statistics that go along with our savings:
· Geothermal – Last year we saved $100,000 in heating bills due to the installation of the geothermal heating/cooling system in The Forks Market. As a direct result nearly 1 kilotonne of greenhouse gas emissions were not put back in to the air.
· Water – Since The Forks began its water conservation/matching use program, 7.5 million litres of water have been conserved in The Forks Market at a savings of $22,000.
· Waste – In 2005, The Forks paid $75,000 to put waste into the landfill. Last year, only $30,000 was paid and revenues from other tenants totaled $20,000.
· Fuel – By converting fryer oil and powering site equipment, 22,000 litres of “veggie oil” were used and $30,000 was saved. That’s why our Zamboni smells like French Fries!
But, we’re not stopping there. We’ve been meeting with active living and recreational groups to find out how they use our site. We met everyone we could think of: biking, walking, hiking, kayaking, running, winter and skateboarding groups. We want to come up with a strategy for everyone that could improve amenities, communication and use.
We also just launched a really cool walking tour for school kids that teaches them about our stuff and then encourages them to think of things they can do themselves. The Target Zero Eco-Kids Tour, presented by MMSM, is led by two great actors from Green Kids Inc.
Inside The Market there’s now a green store too. The aptly named Generation Green specializes in eco-friendly bio-degradable items for household use. They have laundry detergents, baby stuff and tons of cosmetics.
And, we’re not slowing down either. We really do believe that we can make a difference by continuously looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. No greenwashing here either. When we do it, we do it the best way we can.