Greening Our Airports

Tens of millions of people will spend a portion of their summer vacation traveling through an airport. Airports are essentially like small cities, and greening them will make a big impact.
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Tens of millions of people will spend a portion of their summervacation traveling through an airport. Ever notice the overflowinggarbage cans everywhere in the terminals? Travelers generate 1.5pounds of trash per person during each airport visit, and that doesn'tinclude whatever trash is left behind on the plane! An NRDCinvestigationfound that the U.S. airline industry discards enough aluminum canseach year to build 58 Boeing 747 airplanes. In a single year, U.S.airlines also discarded 9,000 tons of plastic and enough newspapersand magazines to fill a football field to a depth of more than 230feet.

Airports are essentially like small cities, and greening them willmake a big impact. This week we salute Boston Logan airport. The newTerminal A, with a heat-reflecting roof and windows, low-flow faucets,waterless urinals, self dimming lights and storm water filtration, isthe nation's first terminal to be a certified green building.Congratulations!

And kudos to Dallas Fort Worth Airport which receives 10% of itselectricity from wind generators in West Texas. Of the 77 heavy dutytrucks and vehicles used at the airport, 62% use alternative fuels.Tailpipe emissions from the airport's car and truck fleet have beenreduced by 90%.

Action tips for the week:

Even when they are 'off,' leaving appliances plugged in still usesenergy, so remember before you leave home for summer vacation tounplug all electrical appliances and devices to save energy. And besure to turn off your home air conditioner thermostat and timers too.If you plan to drive to your vacation destination, make sure your caris running efficiently. Keeping your tires properly inflated canimprove your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Saving a gallon ofgas will keep 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, andleave more money in your pocket for those vacation treats!

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