As a lover of the outdoors, fitness, and sustainability, graduated senior Adam Irino ’14 has helped bring Santa Clara’s Athletics and Recreation Department (ARD) into the sustainability spotlight. Adam now holds a degree in Environmental Science, with minors Economics and Biology and is originally from Prunedale, California. Beginning his involvement with campus sustainability at the end of his sophomore year, Adam has worked on several projects to make daily practices more sustainable at the Pat Malley Fitness and Recreation Center. His passion for sustainability stems from his love to be outdoors. He believes we have a “duty to preserve nature so that future generations will have the opportunity to experience its beauty,” and has jumped right in the middle of doing what it takes to protect it.
Fitness Center Operations
With over two years of experience as a Malley Center Student Coordinator, Adam believes that the ARD’s biggest challenges are the necessity for travel for various Club/NCAA events and running the fitness center while limiting excess energy use and waste from the equipment. In order to face this challenge, Adam feels that we must continue to make students, faculty, and other community members aware of their impact and provide solutions to minimize their carbon and waste footprints. Already, Malley has adopted programs like Terracycle, composting paper towels in the bathroom, dual flush toilets, and lately, plugging their computers into smart strips, which are power strips that automatically stop all the power flowing to the attached devices when it has been shut down.
Contributing to a Healthy World
In addition, Adam has been a key figure in developing a creative, interactive, and rewarding solution to offsetting the athletic team’s carbon emissions through “The Hoofprint Challenge.” Throughout the development of the program, Adam had to calculate the total number of carbon emissions all of the athletic club sport teams had emitted over the past year (263 tons!) and also compile sustainable actions people can pledge to do in order to counteract those emissions. The Hoofprint Challenge consists of four categorized surveys that student, faculty, staff, and anyone else can fill out to make more sustainable changes to their daily routine. Some examples include visits to the local farmers’ market once a week, double-sided printing, and carpooling to run errands, just to name a few. In its first year, the Hoofprint Challenge was successfully completed in the final week of spring quarter, offsetting all 263 tons of carbon from the previous year’s club sports travel. All the people who pledged to change the way they live, even in the last few weeks of the academic year, have helped our campus move closer to climate neutrality.
A Healthy Life is a Sustainable One
When asked what role athletics will play in making a more sustainable future, Adam said that part of living sustainably is keeping yourself healthy. He added that in our modern-day, busy lives, we often do not find the time to get out and exercise. This was an excellent reminder that in order to maintain a healthy body and a healthy mind, it is important to go outside and do what we love. Reminding ourselves of the world we love through interaction and and using it to keep us healthy and happy is a major step in creating a more sustainable future. Be sure to check out some of our on-campus active lifestyle options like Intramurals, club sports, NCAA sports, Campus Recreation facilities, and Into the Wild to get out, stay healthy, and learn more about living sustainably.
Contributed by Tom Wheeler ‘16, Sustainability Intern, Academic Programs