For the 2009 Junior Olympics, organizers hope is to start a larger discussion within the ski community, and to set a new standard for future Junior Olympics to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. A new goal for the 2009 JOs is to improve the event’s environmental impact through the application of energy conservation, waste management, socially responsible purchasing, community involvement, and alternative energy generation.
The bottom line is simple; our current path is unsustainable and is impacting our snow, our sport and our lives. We can be the next drivers for change, but it will take hard work and patience. The 2009 JOs is a starting point for the Nordic community in the U.S. from which we can continue to build and improve, because simply, we can and we must do better!
We have profiled the main impact areas of JOs and are addressing specific initiatives within each area. We have targeted a few main areas of focus:
• Energy Conservation; where we will increase the energy efficiency of the facilities at Auburn Ski Club;
• Waste Management; where we are planning on diverting as much of the solid waste away from the landfill as we can, through composting and recycling;
• Socially Responsible Purchasing; ensuring purchases made for JOs support fair labor and environmental practices;
• Community Involvement; to engage and educate the ski community about sustainable practices; through speakers at the event and an online “sustainable divisions” forum.
Some of our specific Initiatives are listed below:
• Recycling at all events provided by the Town of Truckee and transported by the Town’s hybrid vehicle, the “Green Machine.”
• All disposable cups and dishware products are either compostable or made with 100% recyclable stock and will be recycled and/or composted.
• Reusable water bottles will be sold and encouraged, disposable plastic bottles will not be available at the event.
• Merchandise will be printed on 100% organic cotton.
• Energy efficiency improvements on the facilities at Auburn Ski Club.
• Environmental speakers: Alison Gannett & Miriam Horn.
• Educational parent night/speakers series.
• Organic food will be used at the banquets.
• All banquet decorations will be made from 100% recycled material.
• Athletes will be able to participate in an online “Sustainable Divisions” interactive forum, signing up to implement sustainability measure at their local club to be entered to win prizes.
• Online carpool forum for visiting parents, as well as information on public transportation options.
• Bio-Diesel will be run in generators, snowmobiles and snow groomers.
• A final Junior Nationals sustainability report will be published, to enable other divisions and ski clubs to continue and build upon the work of the 2009 Junior Nationals.