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
West Coast Best Coast...If There's Any Coast LeftLast Updated on 2016-04-18 08:47:06While there are many issues that are prevalent in the realm of sustainable tourism, coastal habitat protection is a predominant problem. It is incredibly important to promote the sustainable management of habitat protection and maintenance in coastal regions, as these areas are rapidly deteriorating and face regular threats.
To improve coastal habitat protection, the first and foremost matter of importance is to educate consumers in sustainable habits. By educating consumers, mitigation of impact can be attributed to the consumer, allowing for a heightened sense of responsibility and pride on the consumer side while visiting a coastal area. Educational programs offered by tourism operators for consumers (as well as other retailers and staff within the tourism industry) are extremely beneficial for all parties involved, as they can demonstrate the ideals and importance of coastal... More »
Mixon's Fruit FarmLast Updated on 2016-03-06 17:37:41
On a recent visit to Mixon’s Fruit Farm I was not surprised to see the parking lot full and the overflow across the street in the field was filling up fast as well. Mixon’s has been a part of Bradenton since 1939. They ship their citrus out of state and were a founding member of the Florida Gift Fruit Shippers. From their website they proclaim 350 acres and 120 employees. The gift shop is filled with souvenirs and there is a café as well. They have homemade fudge and other treats like orange swirl ice cream. It is truly one of the area’s most beloved spots. People come from everywhere and local bands and schools participate in weekend events. It is truly an iconic ecotourism spot in Manatee County. Oh yeah, they have a wildlife refuge too! The animal sanctuary is where they care for everything from alligators to... More »
TECO, airport unveil 2 megawatt solar array that can power 250 homesLast Updated on 2016-02-15 16:14:46
Tampa Electric and Tampa International Airport unveiled Thursday a 2 megawatt solar array that produces enough energy daily to power 250 homes, the utility's first major solar project.
The 175,000-square-foot, $6 million project provides shaded parking for 800 cars on the top of the airport's south economy parking garage and is one of the largest in the Tampa Bay area. It actually started producing electricity Dec. 30.
"It is good for all of us," Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said at a brief ceremony. "It is good for this airport. It is good for the kids that will follow us (as) we build an economy that is more sustainable, that is more green, that acknowledges that, yes, the climate is changing."
Tampa Electric, part of TECO Energy, generates 4,700 total megawatts of power, but little of that comes from solar. The airport project would generate 15 times as... More »
Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort: Integration in Sustainable TourismLast Updated on 2016-02-14 20:58:06In sustainable tourism, it is important to successfully integrate the elements of sustainable building, transportation, and energy usage. A prime example of this can be seen in the Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort on the Walt Disney World complex. As part of the Disney complex, the Bonnet Creek Resort must be able to comply with the different sustainability initiatives that are put forth by the Walt Disney Company.
As a result of this land usage on Disney properties, the Bonnet Creek Resort must be willing to adhere to minimal to net-zero waste in order to fully comply with the systems in use on Disney property, and reduction of energy usage. While the Bonnet Creek Resort does not need to comply with all initiatives put in place by the Walt Disney Company, they still have a corporate responsibility in line with Wyndham Worldwide. According to the Wyndham Worldwide Best Practices document,... More »
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 »
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