Saving the World, One Initiative at a Time
Written by: Cliff Barre, Responsible Tourist
Despite the headlines, there are actually many green initiatives taking place in the United States. From zero emission buses to redevelopment, these initiatives are making a healthier, greener planet. Some of the most innovative new ideas are originating with Destiny USA. The organization is working to improve the environmental quality of land and fix damaged ecosystems.
Site Selection/Brownfield Redevelopment
One of the nation’s top shopping malls, Destiny USA, has been working to improve the environment. One of the ways they do this is by selecting sites that have been developed in the past. This prevents wetlands and natural habitats from being lost. The organization works to prevent endangered species and defended animals from being pushed off of their natural habitat. Another key way that Destiny USA is changing the face of American commercial property is by redeveloping it. Destiny was constructed on an area that used to be called “Oil City.” Brownfield was once an environmentally damaged site and was constituted of massive amounts of pollution. In an effort to improve the environment, Destiny USA had the old oil drums removed and began to clean up the site’s contamination. Due to their efforts, the company earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Hydrogen Powered Buses
Californian cities are known for their smog and pollution. In Oakland, the city is trying to fix that problem. The AC Transit agency in Easy Bay has developed a fleet of three hydrogen-powered buses. As the largest fleet in the nation, the buses will be used to help lower pollution in the area. A typical diesel bus releases 130 tons of carbon every year. With a hydrogen-powered bus, carbon dioxide pollution can be reduced significantly. The city of Oakland is hoping that the United States government will see the success of the program and follow their example.
Eliminating Energy Loss in Chicago
The windy city now has something new to boast about. Chicago is working to make power and reduce carbon dioxide output. Originally, the area relied on fuel-burning power plants. These plants harmed the environment because they produced emissions and used up two-thirds of all the energy they generated. When a power plant creates energy, it burns fuel. The heat produced is released into the environment and then goes to waste. Chicago is trying to deal with this issue by using cogeneration technology. Basically, the power plants in Chicago are designed to use the heat by-product of the power plants to create more energy. This method ultimately reduces the amount of fuel used and creates more energy. A typical cogeneration facility creates one-third of the carbon dioxide that coal power plant makes. If other cities follow Chicago’s lead, the results could be astronomical.
With all of the changes taking place across the country, the future looks a bit brighter for the environment. New initiatives like cogeneration plants are also positive solutions because they are cost effective and environmentally friendly. Organizations that take the lead from Destiny USA and Oakland can help to reduce their carbon footprint and produce greener products.