By Natalie Queally- Recreation
This week was all about UCLA’s Earth Day Fair hosted by E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity. Our team set up a table to inform fair-goers about our current research and goals for the Wooden Center’s sustainable future. In order to attract a wide audience, we were able to rent a blender bike from Rock the Bike, a company that specializes in pedal-powered event activities. We utilized the blender, which harnesses kinetic energy from pedaling the bike, to make smoothies for the lovely people that visited our table. As we had hoped, the bike was a huge success! People were delighted by the ingenuity of the bike, and by the exceptional smoothies crafted by the Recreation team. Once we had their attention, we were able to discuss our project and explore the idea of one day incorporating exercise machines into a great source of energy.
As for the project, things are moving along quite swiftly. Our team is in the middle of analyzing the data from over 450 survey responses we received from tabling in Wooden two weeks ago. Any conclusions we reach regarding lighting, televisions, and EcoMill usage will help us decide what changes will help save energy without bothering gym-users. Those changes should be implemented in the weeks to come, and we will conduct more surveys to see how gym-goers feel about them (if they notice at all).
Lastly, our team is about to submit a grant proposal to put solar panels atop of Wooden, which has possibly become the most exciting part of the project. By deciding to pursue this, the scope of our project has dramatically expanded in a very short period of time. Although the various project elements we are balancing can feel like a lot, it’s rewarding to know that we have a chance to make some serious changes. Whether or not all of our current goals will be executed as planned, all the progress we have made since January assures me that we will be leaving Wooden a greener place.