Green News

Green Buildings need the people inside to make them Relevant

Posted by smarquit on 06/02 at 06:28 PM
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Ecologically sound business facilities from corporate headquarters to hotels are being built with environmentally friendly materials. As a result they are greatly reducing the carbon footprint of the business. As a commercial contractor, I have worked on many projects that incorporate sustainable material. The people who work in these facilities carry on the environmental responsibility making a great contribution to the health of the planet. Their efforts deserve as much recognition as the green contractor’s.

The Marriott is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, and their efforts to become ecologically friendly include the purchase of 24 million green key cards. These cards are made from a corn by-product, which makes them biodegradable and recyclable. This one initiative prevents 66 tons of plastic from going into landfills every year.

One of the top examples of a business going green is the Las Vegas Palazzo Hotel & Resort. This resort boasts water recycling systems and use solar panels for heating. These panels are part of the largest solar thermal systems in the United States and all are located on the roof. These solar panels actually provide the hot water for the swimming pools and spas. They also have 680 solar photovoltaic panels that give output of 116 kW (DC). Other sustainable initiatives include awards to employees who suggest green energy ideas that are practical and can be implemented. Because of its green features the Palazzo was recently awarded the “Most Eco-Friendly Hotel in America”!

The Las Vegas Palazzo Hotel & Resort is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDS) certified building and is rated as a “Five Diamond Hotel & Resort”. Guests can feel confident that they are contributing to reducing carbon emissions when they are having the time of their lives in the Palazzo. With 40,000,000 tourists visiting Las Vegas last year and hotels in demand, other Las Vegas hotels are going green and following the Palazzos lead.

With a number of businesses looking to go green, a number of initiates are also being started. The Go Green Initiative’s aim is to train and educate people in schools, businesses, organizations and private homes to create a Culture of Conservation in their communities. The aim of this project is to conserve natural resources for the future as well as to protect the health of the people in the communities. Children will be taught how best to care for the planet, and the community in general will be shown environmentally responsible behavior.

Another great initiative is The Wild Asia Tourism Awards. This program is for people in the tourism industry who demonstrate cultural preservation and wildlife conservation for tourism in the region. The awards focus on community engagement and resource efficiency.  

Eco-friendly tourism is alive and well and growing throughout the world. From sustainable buildings that function with almost no carbon footprint to community awareness programs, people can travel with the confidence that they are helping and not hurting the planet.

About the author: smarquit
I am an entrepreneurial independent contractor and home renovation/remodeling expert in New York. I’ve made it a point to share with my readers a day in the life of sustainable building. Forecasting the possible application and implementation of new green building materials and technologies is just one small part of my effort to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.

UNEP helping young consumers be more eco-friendly

Posted by Environment Smart on 10/02 at 11:35 AM

youthXchange Training Kit coverUNEP and UNESCO have just released the new and updated edition of their popular YouthXchange. The YouthXchange Training Kit serves as a guide to eco-friendly living for young consumers.

This 2008 release is the second edition (first edition 2002) of the YouthXchange Training Kit produced by UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). UNEP describes their publication as a "train the trainer tool that aims to promote sustainable consumption patterns among young consumers worldwide".

“YouthXchange is one of the most important youth activities connected to UNEP’s sustainable consumption and production work - it provides us with content that we are able to convey to other young people, empowering them to make different choices in their daily lives and be actors of change,” says Gabriela Monteiro, a UNEP Tunza Youth Advisor.

Included in this updated guide is a chapter on how to find a balance between the desire of today's youth to look "cool" and fashionable while maintaining an awareness of the impact of their consumption on such areas as climate change. 

“Through their (youth) purchasing patterns, life-style choices and networks with schools and universities to clubs, the music scene and sports they can also influence the wider world - influence that will be vital for moving communities, companies and countries to back a new UN climate change deal in Copenhagen’s UN Climate Change Conference in 2009”, says Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director.

“This initiative, which fits within the framework of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD, 2005-2014), seeks to raise the awareness of young people and make responsible consumers of them,” said Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO.

Through the YouthXchange program, UNEP and UNESCO collaborate to help young people to make their everyday actions part of their aspirations for a better world. 

About the author: Environment Smart

Idle-Free School Zone

Posted by Environment Smart on 09/19 at 09:53 PM

School has started and along with this comes the idling cars waiting in front of the school. In an effort to help reduce CO2 emissions, turning off your car when waiting to pick up your child from school is a very simple thing to do.

Active and Safe Routes to School is a program of Green Communities of Canada. The ASRTS program addresses “health and traffic safety issues while taking action on air pollution and climate change”. In the spring of 2000, the ASRTS launched a province-wide (Ontario) No Idling at School project. The project includes educational kits for schools, of which several reproducible inserts are available on the project web site.

Why not get your school involved in creating an idle-free school zone.


About the author: Environment Smart

GM Supports Environmental Education

Posted by Environment Smart on 09/15 at 05:22 PM

The environment is an important issue in the classroom these days, and teachers are always looking for current resource material. There is a wealth of good lesson plans and activities out there, but it is nice to see a large corporation doing its part in educating our youth about helping the environment.

General Motors has a dedicated site that offers what appears to be excellent units that can be used for teaching a number of subject areas. GM has also lately teamed up with Weekly Reader (online education magazine) for a more direct approach.

“As global energy demands continue to increase, GM is committed to doing its part to offer solutions by developing vehicles that can be powered by many different energy sources including E85 ethanol, diesel, electricity and hydrogen,” said Elizabeth A. Lowery, GM vice president, Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. “Young people today have an opportunity to be part of the movement that develops solutions to these energy issues, and GM’s commitment to education in the areas of math, science and technology is aimed at encouraging them to be a part of that effort.”



About the author: Environment Smart