Rate This Topic

Average: 0/5

3. Energy Use

The type of energy and the amount of energy we use has major impacts on the environment.

The challenges 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 fuels 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 2006 baseline levels by the year 2012.   Once this target was achieved Disney has now set a target for another 50% reduction by 2020, 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 an 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.
  • use of micro hydro energy.  Fore example the Villa Escudero Plantations & Resort, Inc
  • 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


Recently Updated
Monolithic Domes Last Updated on 2018-09-09 14:51:30                           This is an introduction video to Monolithic Domes. The Monolithic Dome, is a safe, energy efficient, beautiful structure with many advantages over standard construction. As you will see in this video, it really is tomorrows building, today. See more at www.monolithic.com   More »
Preparing your RV or tiny house to go off grid Last Updated on 2018-09-09 14:45:20 Another Rosebud Resilient Community Workshop premiering this coming Saturday, this one on preparing your RV or tiny house to go off grid. For that matter, the information can be used for any house (considering that a stationary house or apartment can really be considered an "RV without wheels" -- the basic principles are the same!). Come learn the DIY way to get through a period of power outages and shortages on gas and propane from people who live it every day! Register by email to rosebudcontinuum@gmail.com or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1293638344102709/ More »
Environmental impact of electric vehicles in China? It depends on how they are charged Last Updated on 2018-08-30 12:17:10 Environmental impact of electric vehicles in China? It depends on how they are charged​Electric vehicles play a key role in China's plan to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions but, with the majority of China's electricity still coming from coal-fired power plants, many question just how effective this strategy will be. Now, researchers from Harvard University and Tsinghua University in Beijing found that private electric vehicles in China can have a positive effect on CO2 reduction if owners can be incentivized to slowly charge vehicles during off-peak hours, allowing for more effective use of wind-generated power. Quickly charging vehicles in the higher energy "fast mode," on the other hand, can be counterproductive. Meanwhile, buses and taxis In China make a significant contribution to NOX emissions, a major precursor for air pollution. The team... More »
Republican States Investing in Clean Energy Last Updated on 2017-02-06 18:16:39 Within an hour of Donald Trump's inauguration on January 20, 2017, the White House webpage on climate White House web page on climate change. change disappeared and has yet to make a reappearance. It has since been replaced with information on the “America First Energy Plan” that focuses on the expansion of shale oil, natural gas, and “clean coal” technology. While the Trump Administration may be dedicated to these stone age forms of energy, the same cannot be said of the states, even those that helped elect President Trump. Illinois passed the Future Energy Jobs bill that will help “grow the economy, save customers money, and protect the planet.” This bill will double the state’s energy efficiency, which will lower electric bills and create tens of thousands of new jobs. Since this bill also funds the... More »
Harnessing Nature’s Power Last Updated on 2016-09-15 18:38:57 Scotland unveiled the first turbine for the MeyGen tidal stream project, the world's first large-scale tidal energy farm. The project will initially install four turbines, but will eventually have 269 turbines, enough to power 175,000 homes.   image Source: Andritz Hydro Hammerfest Standing 15 meters (49 ft) tall, with 16 meter (52 ft) blades, weighing around 200 tonnes (220 tons), and each turbine has a 1.5 megawatt (MW) capacity. The project aims to install 269 turbines in hopes of having a capacity of 398 MW, enough to power 175,000 homes. The Scottish government has funded the project with £23m. “I am incredibly proud of Scotland’s role in leading the way in tackling climate change and investment in marine renewables is a hugely important part of this,” said first minister Nicola Sturgeon. “MeyGen is set to invigorate the marine renewables... More »