Looking to the future on this Earth Day 2010 it is easy to find news about what things are happening in the movement toward sustainable living. For the past 40 years, it has been well known that energy should be looked at differently. Any scientist can tell you that (almost) no energy can be created nor destroyed, but we see people and corporations across the globe consuming natural resources and turning them into energy for transportation, manufacturing, and heating our homes. Where does all that stored up energy go? Some of it becomes lost in the 120-150 decibels of sound produced by an airplanes jet engines.
While the airlines combat high fuel expenses, and contemplate more efficient hybrid planes made of lighter materials, people are uniting in efforts to push governments and corporations to sponsor more efficient and sustainable initiatives. ( Consequence.org ) Meanwhile, the designers of the airports are taking steps to make things as Earth friendly as possible.
San Francisco is undertaking a $383 million project that will expand and renovate the old international terminal into a 587,000 square foot LEED Silver terminal. Certainly the right direction for airports around the world. The project is recycling construction waste and enforcing policies on vendors to sell food and beverage with compostable packaging. More natural sunlight will brighten the terminal and possibly change attitudes about airports. Currently all anyone can talk about is long lines, delayed flights, and ridiculous screening procedures.
I for one am very interested in booking my next flight to California on American Airlines with a landing at SFO just so I can see the results of this impressive undertaking.