environment

Green(er) dining at Portland Int’l Airport

Oregon’s amenity-rich Portland International Airport, which last month opened a ‘micro-cinema’ showing short films made by Portland and Oregon-based filmmakers, has a new, green amenity: real dishes and silverware for diners at the food carts (another cool amenity) in the pre-security area of the Oregon Market shopping and dining area.

The switch from disposable dishes is already underway.

My tasty PDX food cart meal last month was on a ‘real’ plate with silverware and getting a to-go container for leftovers was not a problem.

The pilot project is scheduled to run through June and has among its goal reducing airport waste from single-use containers.

After June, the airport will evaluate results of the test and perhaps make real dishware permanent.

A good idea I’m going to start looking for at other airports too.

 

 

Airports go dark for Earth Hour

Courtesy LAWA

Airports around the world will join thousands of iconic landmarks, buildings, attractions, hotels and homes in turning off (non-essential) lights on Saturday, March 25 in honor  of International Earth Hour.

The event began in 2007 with a single lights-off event in Australia and is now observed  in 178 countries and territories – including the International Space Station – with more than 12,700 monuments turning off their lights for one hour in 2016.

Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX) signature 100-foot-tall Gateway pylons (above ) will glow green – and then go dark between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Courtesy Denver Int’l Airport

Denver International Airport (DEN) will be turning off the lights on the iconic “32-foot-tall Mustang” statue and the “Shadow Array” artwork at the Hotel and Transit Center. Shadow Array is made up of 236 beetle-kill spruce logs that are usually illuminated at night.

Here’s a link to an Earth Hour map of other places going dark around the world for an hour on March 25. Check to see if the lights will be going out where you are at 8:30 local time.

 

Goats getting gardening jobs at O’Hare Airport

GOATS http://www.flickr.com/photos/george_eastman_house/

Courtesy George Eastman House via Creative Commons

As early as a month from now, a herd of about 25 goats – along with a shepherd – will arrive at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and be put to work munching unwanted vegetation (i.e. weeds) from up to 120 acres of airport-owned land that is difficult to get to with traditional landscaping equipment.

O’Hare already has beehives, an aeroponic vegetable and herb garden inside the terminal and a host of other green initiatives underway, but last September it put out a request for bids seeking “sustainable vegetation management grazing services.”

The two-year, $100,000 contract was awarded to Central Commissary Holdings, LLC, which operates a restaurant in the city and keeps a small herd of goats nearby.

O’Hare is not the first airport to employ goats. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have also hired goats and/or sheep to munch on unwanted vegetation.

And there are plenty of benefits:

Having goats eat weeds, poison ivy, and invasive plant species not only decreases landscape maintenance costs, reduces the use of heavy equipment and saves all that fuel that would be used for operating the mowing machinery, it provides an alternative to toxic herbicides and will be a fun way to draw attention to the airport’s environmental awareness.