Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Five ways you can be eco-friendlier on your next Forks visit

In honour of Earth Day, we’ve put together a list of eco-friendly things you can do next time you visit The Forks:

Bring a reusable coffee cup or water bottle
The Forks is headed towards having entirely compostable takeaway containers from all vendors on the site, but we’re not there just yet. Whether you’d like a coffee-to-go to keep you warm on the Red River Mutual Trail in the winter or a smoothie to keep you cool while you browse the shops in the summer, why not take your drink to-go in a reusable mug or bottle?

Purchase organic and sustainable products
A number of vendors sell organic and/or sustainably sourced items. For example, Grass Roots Prairie Kitchen is dedicated to cooking delicious take-away meals including perogies, lamb meatballs, and cabbage rolls as well as jams and pickles using organic, sustainably sourced and locally farmed meats and produce. Hempyrean sells organic hemp clothing – a durable alternative to cotton – and other organic hemp products. Generation Green sells a variety of eco-friendly products – from soaps and lotions to household cleaning products – and they offer refill program where anyone who brings in an empty bottle to be refilled receives $1 off.

BYOB (Bring your own bag)
We’ve all heard the terrible stat: plastic bags will take 1000 years to break down in the landfill. If you’re going to be making some purchases at The Forks, come prepared with your own bag to tote your goods around.

Park your car – at home
The Forks is centrally located and well-connected to several bike paths, sidewalks, bus routes, and two major waterways – the transportation options are endless! We offer ample bike parking and even bike valet on busy days like Canada Day, as well as free 3-hour boat docking all summer.

One person’s trash…
Next time you’re in the Johnston Terminal, take a peek downstairs at the Johnston Terminal Antique Mall and see how some of the pre-loved furniture pieces and other items could be upcycled into your living space.

The Forks is dedicated to the planet today and everyday with Target Zero – our mission to have zero garbage, zero waste and zero carbon emissions. Here’s how:

Eighty percent of our “garbage” on the site is compostable. That’s why we started working with an industrial in-vessel composter called BIOVATORTM to compost waste from our five full-service restaurants, 15 fast food merchants, seven fresh food producers, the hotel and all of the yard trimming from the site. We use the nutrient-rich compost in our gardens.

Our Zamboni runs on the oil that cooked the French fries you ate here last month. That’s pretty cool. We filter the used vegetable oil using a centrifuge, and we’ve adapted the diesel engines on our site truck, three gators, refrigerated reefer and our Zamboni so they can be fuelled by the wasted vegetable oil.

Geothermal Heat Pump System
When we needed to replace our old HVAC system, we realized it was an opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint by installing a geothermal system that uses energy stored in the earth, the river, and ground water, and also recycles the energy produced in The Forks Market. Energy is collected from three separate wells. The largest well is located across the Assiniboine River at South Point where 168 closed vertical loops were drilled 300-feet into the ground. There are two large radiators sitting at the bottom of the Assiniboine River, and an open loop right underneath the South West corner of the Market collecting energy from the ground water.

Click here to see more on how we’re loving our Earth everyday.

By The Forks communications intern Larissa Peck

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