One Million Acts of Green

When the CBC and the Suzuki foundation envisioned one million acts of green I doubt they immediately thought of the golf industry as potential contributors. However, as an industry so intertwined with the environment I suggest we are perfectly poised to make a huge contribution to “Green programs”. The following is just a summarized list of actions we can take to reduce our impact on the environment and reduce green house gasses:

1. Pick up one piece of garbage per employee per day
We have a course policy, if you drive by it you might as well have thrown it! We also offer rewards for staff seen going out of their way picking up garbage. The program is catchy and affects their personal life. I know I cannot walk by a piece of garbage with stopping to pick it up.

2. Pesticide reduction
It is our goal to review our pesticide applications and make at least one less application per year. The money saved can be applied to other cultural programs like manual weed control, pest scouting, topdressing and overseeding with improved varieties.

3. Natural areas
In 2010 we plan to eliminate 50% of the fertilizer in the rough. We will achieve this by identifying “in play/out of play rough”

4. Greens space/Wild life preservation
Golf courses are often the largest greens spaces in the urban environment. Our course is home to over a dozen species of birds including a family of eagles, deer, rabbits, native and rare plants including owl clover.

5. Green your community as an outreach program…be the local expert
Speak to the public, industry and schools as often as you can. Offer school tours to view special projects. For example we had a bird tagging event where we invited a local school to assist.

6. Solar panels on the roofs of our buildings
Most golf courses have large building offering great potential for power generation.

7. Create and manage community compost centers
We collect all our cores, clippings, plant material and compost to be added to our rough topdressing program. We have expanded this program to allow members and staff to add their plant material to our compost.

8. Car pool
Reward staff for car pooling or biking to work.

9. Reduce maintenance
In 2009 we reduced rough mowing, fairway mowing and bunker maintenance by 50% with no complaints from our member. This has dramatically reduced our fuel consumption, wear and tear on the golf course and the equipment.

10. Paperless meetings
I have gone paperless for all or meetings, staff training and daily work assignments. Meetings are organized and presented on screen with PowerPoint; employee manuals and standard operation procedures are posted online; and the staff daily tasks and record is emailed to each staff daily and posted on the staff television in the morning at the start of the shift.

These are just the acts of green, lets here from you…