The chill bite in the air wakes you up as the breeze tickles your face on a beautiful October afternoon. You revel in the smell and the feel of autumn in the air. It’s easy to appreciate, as the season changes, just how wonderful our planet is. What can you do to show your gratitude to the amazing ecosystem which you are a part of? What can you do to help your community thrive? If you are looking for an opportunity to learn about how to live an environmentally conscious life in Reno, you should look into Envirolution’s Sustainability Tour which is coming up from October 26th through the 30th. The cost for the entire week will be $30 including transportation, four delicious lunches, and nine wonderful tour visits to businesses and organizations in the local area. The tour is organized so that students aged 10 and up can explore a few of the forward thinking businesses here in Reno which are working to balance profit and customer satisfaction with environmental awareness. Each day has an overarching question, a lesson which will be developed and explored throughout the day and over the course of the week, so that students come away from the experience with deeper and more comprehensive understanding of sustainable living. This tour is designed to inspire and empower young people to become the next generation of leaders and workers in the growing sustainable economy.
Monday will kick the week off to a great start with visits to Reno’s Patagonia warehouse and River School Farm to give students a look at a couple businesses with sustainable development models. At the first stop, participants will learn about how Patagonia works daily to fulfill its mission statement, “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” There will be a tour of the facility which will focus on how their building uses solar energy to reduce its carbon footprint and also how their various products address issues concerning sustainability. Tour participants will have lunch at Patagonia’s Café. The food at this café is provided by River School Farm which is the second stop on Monday’s Tour. River School Farm is dedicated to sustainably growing food year-round in Reno’s High Desert, urban environment. This is a full cycle farming operation in which everything needed to sustain the plant and animal life comes from within the farm itself. Students will have the opportunity to tour the River School Farm Community and learn about their comprehensive and sustainable business model.
With a slight change of pace, Tuesday’s adventure will start off at the Peppermill where students will have the unique opportunity to meet the manager of the Peppermill’s geothermal facility and discover how the resort’s water systems, as well as their heating and cooling systems, function to reduce carbon emissions and promote green energy. There will be lunch at the Peppermill before heading to Hamilton Solar. At Hamilton students will become briefly acquainted with various aspects of solar installation and engineering. The main focus of Tuesday’s tour will be showing students how they can incorporate their passion for sustainability into a fulfilling career in the modern economy.
Wednesday builds upon Envirolution’s focus on environmentally friendly practices being used inside Reno buildings. The first business toured will be the RTC 4th St. bus station, which is one of seven buildings in Reno that has obtained a prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. These certifications are given to businesses whose buildings are designed with sustainability as a main focus. In addition to reducing carbon emissions by decreasing the number of cars on the road, Reno’s RTC busses are electric and hybrid busses which further reduce carbon output. RTC also works to engineer and design Reno as a “walkable city” where parking and walking to restaurants and events, rather than driving, is easy and enjoyable. After touring the bus station, tour members will visit one of Envirohaven’s beautiful, sustainable homes. These one of a kind houses are nearly off the grid and built for maximum efficiency in regards to heating and cooling systems. The Haven model that students will tour has a total monthly utility, heating, and cooling cost of an average of only $71 per month! In addition to energy consumption, Envirohaven’s homes are affordable due to the reduced amount of material used in construction and a significant reduction in energy costs. This is a very exciting opportunity to catch a glimpse of the innovations that are making buildings of the future capable of fulfilling the needs of society without harming the planet.
Thursday will be the last day touring local business in Reno. This day focuses on how every individual and especially students can start implementing their own solutions to the environmental crisis. The second to last stop will be a tour of a Washoe County Air Quality Management Division air monitoring station. The Air Quality Management Division reports the current air quality in the Washoe County area and offers programs which address air quality issues including how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke and the benefits of riding you bike for better air quality. Continuing the air quality theme, students will also learn about the Idle Free Campaign. The Idle Free Campaign educates members of the community about the harmful effects of letting their cars idle as they wait for their kids to get out of school. This campaign’s goal is to raise awareness of this issue and encourage everyone to simply turn of their cars to reduce emissions. Students will learn how to bring the Idle Free Campaign to their school so that they can start making a difference on a local level.
The best part about learning about sustainability is discovering all the ways that you can make changes for the better. As the cherry on top of a delightful week, all the participants will have the chance to dive right in and start helping our community by attending a community park cleanup at Pickett Park. Envirolution is working with Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful through their adopt a park program to care for and nurture this area. The cleanup will be from 10am-12pm on Friday in celebration of Nevada Day. This is a beautiful way to give back to the community, get outside on a fall morning, and celebrate our great state before participating in the rest of the Nevada Day celebrations later on during the weekend.
Students who participate in this tour will gain an in depth understanding of how the Reno community is making a difference by implementing solutions to the environmental crisis. It will inspire students to take advantage of and seek out business in our local community that are making advances in green technology. The tour will also allow students a unique glimpse at the inner workings of some of the communities most forward thinking businesses who are participating in the growth of a greener economy and are dedicated to a sustainable future. Come on out and do something great this fall break by joining Envirolution’s Sustainability Tour!
Envirolution will be hosting a pre-tour Orientation on October 20th, 2015 from 5:30-6:30 PM at 250 Bell Street, Reno NV 89503. We encourage anyone to attend who would like to learn more about the tour, meet the people involved, and ask questions. Attendance at the orientation is not required, but encouraged.