We all know that traveling can be hard on the environment, and one of the actions that is hardest on the environment is flying. However, a few airports have tried to make a difference by looking into how they can make their structures more sustainable, either through using solar panels to create energy, or by including restaurants in terminals that are working to improve their waste disposal.
Here are five eco-friendly airports looking to make the world better by improving how they cater to travelers.
1. BOSTON LOGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, UNITED STATES (BOS)
As the first airport in the United States to be LEED certified for its initiatives to be a greener airport. Along with wind turbines and solar panels, the airport has also included an aircraft power plug-in option so that they can save power instead of relying on additional power units. The entire tarmac is made of an asphalt that reduces CO2 emissions, which allowed for a greener experience during construction.
BOS also has a Clean Vehicle Preferred Parking program so that those driving an electric car can benefit from owning a green vehicle. Along with Clean Air Cabs, you have eco-friendly options to get you to and from the airport.
2. ZURICH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, SWITZERLAND (ZRH)
When you think of flying, do you think of noise pollution? The officials at the Zurich International Airport consider it an important problem that airports cause. Depending on how much noise an aircraft makes, airlines are charged a tax in order to encourage them to invest in quieter aircrafts. They are also working to make sure that clean air and water are a high priority. Rain water is used for toilets, and water is collected from the deicing procedures that take place on the planes.
You might also be charged for throwing away any disposables that can be recycled. Using an electronic system, you are encouraged to throw your waste away in the correct bin.
3. DALLAS FORT WORTH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, UNITED STATES (DFW)
As one of the largest airports in the United States (it even has its own zip code), the Dallas Fort Worth airport has made recent strides toward being more green. DFW airport parking includes charging for electronic vehicles in three of its terminals. Wherever you choose to park your electric vehicle, you can make sure it is ready to go before you head home.
The terminals are also looking to expand to sustainable restaurants that use less energy and that can be made from locally-sourced products.
4. SEATTLE-TACOMA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, UNITED STATES (SEA)
Another LEED-approved airport, Seattle’s new rental car facility is made of organic sealant, paint, and other materials. They also plan to recycle the leftover material in order for it to be reused again. Vendors are required to recycle their materials, as well. Oil, coffee grounds (up to 10 tons!), and other items are sold to companies in order to create biodiesel fuel.
One of the most inspiring programs that Sea-Tac has is its Food Donation program. Any unopened, prepackaged food is donated to local food banks.
5. EAST MIDLANDS AIRPORT, ENGLAND (EMA)
If you are looking for an airport that takes recycling seriously, EMA is your place. Officials aim to recycle almost everything, from wood, cardboard, metals, glass, and more. All airport vehicles are also required to be tested for emission levels, and they cannot be used within the airport if they go over the required limit.
They were recognized in 2011 by the Green Organization for installing two wind turbines to help create additional energy. The East Midlands Airport is the first effort from the U.K. to make their airports greener.
Do you have a favorite airport? Know one that is making efforts toward being more sustainable?