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Some Good News About Green Initiatives in the US

going-green-100x100Some Good News About Green Initiatives in the US

The good news is that green initiatives are more than just a thing. Making the world better is no longer seen as a costly, maybe-we’ll-get-to-it-someday proposition that gets put off until approximately never. The better news is that some of the nations most interesting tourist destination are taking the proverbial green ball and running with it. Every day it seems a new green project is announced by a major public or private entity, opening up a wealth of new places for ecologically conscientious travelers to explore.

San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center is one of the most popular exhibition halls in the country. Located in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities on the planet, the convention center recently underwent a major renovation that somehow managed to increase its attractiveness for discerning visitors. In 2004, despite a reputation for fog, the city joined with the Power Light Corporation to cover the building’s roof with a net of photovoltaic cells. The resulting energy produced by the solar panels is enough to fuel the entire building. In turn, the project’s success has prompted the city to blanket other municipal buildings with similar technology, creating a sun-powered base for the foggy city.

For all of San Francisco’s efforts, there is another city where the average citizen uses less than half of their counterparts in the Bay City. As surprising as it may sound, that Green Mecca is none other than New York City, and a new plan may very well increase the green gap. Packed with 8 million residents and still growing, the Big Apple recently approved a plan for 300 water-powered turbines to help meet its rising energy demands. Feeding off the tides of the East River, the hydropower project is predicted to provide clean, sustainable electricity for as many as 8,000 homes.

To the north of NYC in Syracuse, Destiny USA has also been doing its best to pioneer green solutions to the problems traditionally facing major building projects. Building on a previously occupied site, the premier shopping mall Destiny USA was able to make proper disposal and recycling a major component of its renovation project. Scrap material from the Core and Shell were pre-sorted and then collected by Syracuse Haulers. In turn, the hauling company re-sorted the materials to determine what needed to be disposed and what could be recycled. This attention to detail resulted in 7,238.75 tons of recycled or reused debris ranging from cardboard to wood, drywall, marble tiles, and metal. Not content to stop there, during the construction process, Destiny USA also utilized recycled material including 23,000 tons of steel and 7,000 tons of fly ash mixed into concrete. Destiny USA was further able to reduce its environmental impact during the construction process while simultaneously pumping over $20 million into the regional economy. The “trick,” was to use materials that were extracted and manufactured in the surrounding area. In doing so, Destiny complied with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines while limiting the amount of pollution caused in the transportation process.

From the examples named above to dozens of others across the United States, the efforts of forward-thinking public and private institutions are just the start of a bold new world of green initiatives. For eco-travelers, these efforts offer not just exciting destinations to explore, but great opportunities to learn and share some good news as well.

Author: Cliff Barre

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