By Jackson Starr
It's a campus race to zero waste and the fun continues on the basketball court at the Ravens’ Nest.
This coming Saturday, January 27th, the Carleton Ravens will host a Zero-Waste Game while hosting the Waterloo Warriors.
The Campus Race to Zero Waste is an international, eight-week-long competition that helps post-secondary institutions become more environmentally friendly.
Starting Monday, Carleton will be competing in this competition and part of that continues on the basketball court.
Not only does this game highlight the importance of creating a sustainable campus, but also assesses schools based on their recycling and waste minimization tactics. Some of those have already been launched at Carleton.
“It’s important,” says Brad Kinnaird, Manager of Facility Operations with Carleton Athletics, on making these changes. “Especially when we have to do major life cycle upgrades, it's the perfect opportunity to do something to reduce your impact on emissions.”
Some of these changes have already happened, while some are happening as we speak.
By the time the game takes place on Saturday night, Carleton Athletics will have completed three lighting retrofits this fiscal year. These retrofits have been done on both rinks in the Ice House, plus the Fieldhouse. Select corridor and office lighting has also been changed to efficient LED lighting.
The lights in the Ravens’ Nest have also been retrofitted to efficient LED lighting, something that was changed a few years ago.
These retrofits altogether will reduce the athletics sector’s electricity consumption by 530,000 kWh per year which, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, has equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions to removing 84 passenger cars from the road per year.
In April, the installation of a new Air Source Heat Pump in the Ice House will provide heating and cooling for 15 dressing rooms and offices at the rink. By replacing the old Natural Gas furnace, this new heat pump will reduce GHG emissions by 92 percent and reduce CO2 emissions by 181,000 kg annually. This is equal to the emissions from 40 passenger cars being removed from the road per year.
These types of efficient GHG reduction projects will continue into 2024, and Carleton will also be studying technology which could allow for the recycling of flood water used on the two ice surfaces in the Ice House. This could reduce both ice sheets at the rink’s water consumption by over 500,000 gallons per year.
“It's really exciting,” Kinnaird says of the possibility of recycling the flood water. “It just makes so much sense to reuse the water, filter the water, treat it and reuse it versus always using fresh water…maybe we can take this story to other universities and collectively it could be millions of gallons (saved) if everyone does the same thing.”
Carleton has an overall campus goal of achieving a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.
This competition is one step in the path to helping attain those goals, making the Saturday night game all the more important. More information about how to make a difference at the game can be found on the Sustainability website.