First Ever Low-Waste NOAC Helps #SustainIU
By Brant Portner
NOAC 2018 was an event filled with tradition and excitement. Each Arrowmen will take home tons of amazing memories and a lot more patches than they came with. However, this NOAC was a little different. The OA’s commitment to sustainability enabled this NOAC to be our first ever low-waste event. Across the conference, we were able to reduce food waste by serving portion sizes and using compostable plates, cups, and utensils at all the dining halls. We partnered with Indiana University’s Office of Sustainability to provide delegates with reusable water bottles that could be refilled in dining halls, campus buildings, and at outdoor water refill stations. Together, we diverted over 10 tons of waste from being put in landfills by reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Our positive impact was not only in reducing landfill waste, we also challenged delegates to reduce their energy and water usage in the residence halls. By turning off the lights, reducing water use, and more, Arrowmen were able to use less resources and help the university reduce utility costs. For the results of the challenge, please visitnoac2018.org/energychallenge.
In addition to waste, energy, and water, we provided educational opportunities via training sessions and information on sustainable DIY projects at the Sustainability Central booth in the NOAC Experience tent. Panel discussions featured speakers such as Robert Birkby, author of books such as the multiple editions of the Boy Scout Handbook and the Fieldbook, and Mike Hoffman, chairman of the national Order of the Arrow committee. There was also a tour of LEED certified Luddy Hall, where STEM@NOAC was located, where the University’s architect showcased the sustainable engineering and architecture of the building.
This is just the beginning of sustainability at NOAC, in the OA, and back at home. We heard over and over how the decisions we make today have an effect on the reality of our lives tomorrow and further into the future. By being conscious about how we live our lives in terms of using resources, reducing waste, and caring for our environment, our lives will be better in the future. We can decide our destiny by considering how our actions affect the future of our lives and the world around us.