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Laurie David Headshot

Greening Our Airports

Posted: Updated:

Tens of millions of people will spend a portion of their summer
vacation traveling through an airport. Ever notice the overflowing
garbage cans everywhere in the terminals? Travelers generate 1.5
pounds of trash per person during each airport visit, and that doesn't
include whatever trash is left behind on the plane! An NRDC
investigation

found that the U.S. airline industry discards enough aluminum cans
each year to build 58 Boeing 747 airplanes. In a single year, U.S.
airlines also discarded 9,000 tons of plastic and enough newspapers
and magazines to fill a football field to a depth of more than 230
feet.

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

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

Action tips for the week:

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

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