The type amount of energy and the type of energy we use has major impacts on the enviornment.
The problems of climate change and ocean acidification are directly related to the amount of carbon emissions from our use of fossil fuels. In addition we have the issues of polluting our water supply from fracking, contaminating our streams from mine tailings, and polluting our air just to name a few. Continued dependence on fossil fuesls also drains the economy of badly needed resources and threatens national security as well.
Fortunately, there are proven solutions to wiser energy use that happen to also be economically advantageous.
In the book Reinventing Fire, Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute provide a blue print for how the United States could get off oil by the year 2050 while increasing the GDP 158%, increase jobs, improve the environment, and seriously address the challenges of environmental issues such as climate change and ocean acidification.
Companies committed to Sustainable Tourism such as Walt Disney World® have already made a commitment to addressing climate change and cutting their net carbon emissions 50% from 20006 baseline levels by the year 2012 and to then become a net carbon zero company.
Some of their programs include:
Becoming a "Energy Star Partner" which resulted in the first year enough energy savings to power the entire Animal Kingdom.
Using LED lighting for the Cinderella Castle using the equivalent of the energy to power 12 microwave ovens to light the entire castle.
Establishing a carbon solutions fund in 2008 which set a carbon tax on each business unit of the company. One year later $15.5 million was invested in carbon offset programs. The fund was used for such purposes as purchase of clean fuel vehicles, conversion of trains to run on biodisel wastes from restaurants, and collaboration with conservation international and Nature Conservancy to purchase $7 million to preserve forests in the Congo, Peru, and U.S.
Switching to more energy efficient light bulbs. Over 176,000 light bulbs have been replaced.
Commitment to increase its use of solar energy. Disney received and award from the Florida Solar Energy Center.
LED Lighting for the entire Cinderella Castle uses the same amount of energy that it would take to power 12 microwave ovens.
Each tourism operation has opportunities unique to their own situation for reducing energy. The examples of Walt Disney World® may be useful for some but not others.
Some other examples of sustainable tourism energy practices include:
use of solar photo voltaic energy systems such as the one in Joshua Tree National Park that reduced both pollution and operating costs by 90%.
use of wind energy For example the Taurikura Lodge in New Zealand is using wind mills to produce more energy than it needs and selling the excess back into the network.
carbon sequestration combined with native habitat restoration. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has restored 80,000 acres of land and acquired an additional 40,000 acres of land through this program
painting roofs white. According to California Energy Commissioner Art, Rosenfeld, painting roofs white have potential savings of 20% of a homes annual energy costs.
Painting roofs white can save 20% annual energy costs
The Fine Line: Managing Threats to TourismLast Updated on 2015-09-29 14:29:00Tourism is currently one of the world’s largest industries, and while it may be a vast field full of opportunities, it also faces numerous threats to its success. Many of these threats are very clear and apparent, such as environmental degradation, climate shift, and destruction of tourist locales. However, one of the greatest threats to the industry is a little less visible, as it is that of maintaining a balance of over-industrializing and abusing natural resources.
As many tourist destinations are primarily based on the natural appeal and resources of an area, it is a tourist operator’s prime instinct to maximize as much as possible on the land and natural resources of the land. However, throughout the years, many of these operators and developers have exploited the regions in which they build, creating more problems than pleasures. In many areas, over-development and... More »
Solar farm being built at Walt Disney WorldLast Updated on 2015-06-02 16:40:35The Reedy Creek Improvement District voted recently to accept a 15-year agreement with Duke Energy to build a solar power facility near Epcot, on 20 acres near World Drive and Epcot Center Drive. Duke will lease the land and Disney will buy the power.
Construction on the power plant, with 48,000 solar panels in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head, will begin in mid-summer and should be completed and the plant in service by the end of the year.
The 5-megawatt facility represents 1,000 residential rooftop systems, but Disney wasn’t able to confirm what percentage of their power they would receive from the new facility.
Disney already uses some solar power, with panels at Ellen’s Energy Adventure and a water-heating system at a wardrobe facility at the Animal Nutrition Center, but nothing on the scale of the new project.
According to Disney and Reedy Creek, this project shows... More »
Inovateus Solar and GE install off-grid solar system for CuisinArt ResortLast Updated on 2015-04-30 15:09:11
Vicky Karantzavelou - 06 April 2015, 09:05
SOUTH BEND, IND. - Inovateus Solar announced that it has completed the installation of a 1.0-megawatt (MW) solar power generation plant for the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla, BWI, an island in the Caribbean east of Puerto Rico.
The solar system uses a battery backup system to store energy. This provides an uninterruptible supply of energy to the Resort's Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant throughout the day to create potable water to the residents on the island, guests of the resort and irrigation water for the golf course.
The project has been designed to remain completely separate from the grid when needed, yet has the ability of reconnecting partial loads, to continue to desalinate water outside solar production hours. When the sun is down, the system depends on the local Utility, Anguilla Electricity Company Ltd.... More »
The Responsibility of Environmental Quality Last Updated on 2014-10-29 10:15:51Environmental quality is the responsibility of the tourism industry, the tourist business, the tourists, the suppliers, and the developers. These entities work together to create sustainable tourism, playing a significant role and influencing each other.
The Tourism Industry
The tourism industry is the umbrella that everything else falls under. Focusing on sustainable tourism practices sets a standard for other sectors in the world to follow. The tourism industry is the fastest growing industry in the world---relatively unknown places are being visited and well known destinations are significantly increasing in popularity. The environmental quality of destinations is a reflection of the tourism industry and what it deems to be acceptable for the most part. Because this industry is growing so quickly, it has the power to shift toward being ecofriendly and sustainable on a global scale.... More »
Oceanic Coal Pollution, Epic RateLast Updated on 2014-08-12 11:58:26Each year, the lion's share of mercury poison comes from burning more than 8.3 billion tons of coal to provide energy for electricity grids.
Join Earth Dr Reese Halter from Los Angeles in another segment of SOS as he tells us about our oceans brimming with mercury poisoning.
As a result of this insatiable addiction to coal, mercury toxicity has tripled in our oceans to over 80,000 tons of poison. Eighty-four percent of fish tested are laced with methyl-mercury, say scientists from the Biodiversity Research Institute in Maine.
In December of 2013 Shanghai's concentration of tiny toxic PM 2.5 particles was 602.5 micrograms per cubic meter, an extremely hazardous level that shattered all previous records for poisonous air pollution. By the way, that compares to the World Heath Organization's acceptable safety standard of air quality of 25 micrograms per cubic meter.... More »
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