(Not Quite) the Last Straw
In a continued effort to reduce waste, the MAC Green Team has kicked off an initiative to reduce, and eventually eliminate, plastic straws throughout the club.
Catering no longer automatically places straws into drinks, and has transitioned to paper when straws are requested. We ask that you consider skipping a straw altogether as often as you can!
Both 1891 and the Sunset Bistro have also transitioned to paper straws, on a by-request basis. The Sports Pub and Joe’s will be phased into the program at a later date.
In the United States alone, an estimated 500 million straws are used each day. That is enough straw waste to wrap the circumference of the earth 2.5 times or fill Yankee Stadium more than nine times a year! Now imagine that magnified by global consumption.
Plastic straws are on the top-10 list of litter items found during International Coastal Clean-up Day and 80 to 90 percent of land-based marine debris is made from plastic.
We understand the convenience and ease-of-use of straws, and we don’t intend to take them away entirely. We simply feel strongly about the footprint that we leave and are engaged in making every effort that we can to reduce our waste.
The Green Team appreciates your understanding during this transition, and we applaud your participation in creating a more Earth-friendly MAC.
Update from the MAC Green Team
• Paper cups can make a big difference. Roughly half of the paper cups purchased by the club are used in the employee lunchroom. Sensing a ripe opportunity to reduce usage, the Leadership Development Program’s Green Team acquired reusable plastic cups for employee use. These “pizza cups” — familiar in diners and pizza parlors —are expected to save the club around 5,000 paper cups a month!
• The Facilities team has been slowly weaning the club off of wasteful, high-voltage, short-lifespan light bulbs. Most of the club’s fixtures have traditionally used 40- or 60-watt fluorescent, CFL, or incandescent bulbs, but in the past six months, many of these have been replaced by 4-watt LED bulbs. The club’s restaurants are up next. LEDs last from 10 to 15 years, as opposed to the eight months to two years traditional bulbs generally hang on for.
• An effort is underway to install occupancy sensors throughout the club, and to connect larger spaces to the building-management system, allowing scheduling of lights based on club hours and usage. Studies find these kinds of sensors can reduce energy consumption between 30 and 60 percent for lighting.
• Facilities staff conducted an audit on all employee workstations, checking to see how much electricity was being used unnecessarily overnight. By raising awareness among staff of their energy consumption, the club cut $90,000 on power per year.
• MAC’s Green Team is still in its infancy, but is already hard at work on a club-wide sustainability plan. The formation of the group in December represents a huge step forward for MAC, and it is their hope to be able to report new plans to lessen the club’s impact on the environment.