environment

The Honolulu airport is getting super sustainable


The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Honolulu is taking major steps forward in sustainability just in time for Earth Day, which is coming up on April 22.

As part of a major energy-savings project for the airport, 2,980 photovoltaic panels are now installed on the 5th floor of the Terminal 2 (formerly the Overseas Terminal) garage.

Last year, 4,260 solar panels were installed on the 7th floor of the airport’s Terminal 1 parking garage.

“The completion of this phase of photovoltaic panel installation, along with the previous improvements, will reduce the airport’s electric bill by nearly half.” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay.

HDOT is working with Johnson Controls Inc. on a major energy savings project that includes replacing nearly 98,000 light fixtures with high-efficiency light-emitting diode (LED) technology and energy efficient lighting, upgrading ventilation and air-conditioning systems and installing more than 24,000 solar photovoltaic panels.

Given all the sunshine in Hawaii, harnessing solar power at HNL airport makes perfect sense!

Meanwhile, Hawaiian Airlines and Carbon Lighthouse, a clean energy services company, are working together on a pilot energy-saving project at the Hawaiian Airlines Airport Center, located near the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Hawaiian Airlines bought the 14-story office building — famous for its iconic whale murals — in 2016 and leases some of the space to tenants and occupying about 20,000 square feet for office space.

To make the building more energy efficient, Carbon Lighthouse is deploying sensors throughout Airport Center to collect data on everything from air and water temperature and flow rates in HVAC equipment to lighting and occupancy.  

Using that information, plus weather, utility and other data, Carbon Lighthouse will identify way to reduce waste and optimize the energy use of the building.  

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.