Flying is no doubt one of the most expensive areas of traveling while also being the most impactful on the environment. In a bid to reduce these issues, a number of airports around the world have started taking on several ‘green’ initiatives to make their buildings greener and eco-friendlier. Here are 6 such airports around the world which have gained rave reviews for their sustainable initiatives.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
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The Chicago O’Hare Airport may be one of the busiest terminals in the world. However, that doesn’t make it any less green than its eco-friendly counterparts. The Department of Aviation recently came together with local organizations to start off several sustainable initiatives within the airport in order to make the space more eco-friendly.
Some of these initiatives include rain water harvesting, recycling waste water, using wind turbines for energy, installing solar panels, planting rooftop gardens, green fleet vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations. However, two standout initiatives happen to be the aeroponic garden called O’Hare Urban Garden and the world’s largest bee apiary with over 1 million bees.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
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The Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has come up with a rather creative way for guests to relax before boarding their flights. The Airport Park is an eco-friendly indoor/outdoor park where guests can relax in a simulated nature setting. The indoor section of the unique space features organic shaped seating options along with a retail shop and a café.
While some of the seats resemble natural logs, others are integrated with real plants for a more natural look. The outdoor section of the park features designer chairs placed strategically beneath large trees that offer plenty of shade. With time, these chairs will also be covered with growing ivy, thus offering a more natural and lush seating option for guests.
Galapagos Ecological Airport
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The Galapagos Ecological Airport features a design that lets the airport operate with minimal hindrances to the natural surroundings. The LEED Gold Certified Airport is also officially the first green airport in the world and runs completely on solar and wind power.
Over 80% of the infrastructure has been constructed from recycled materials salvaged from old buildings on the island. The other impressive green features of the airport include a desalination plant that converts local seawater and mechanical shutters that can open and close automatically based on indoor heat and CO2 levels.
Denver International Airport
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Denver International Airport is one of the most eco-friendly airports in the world thanks to its dependency on natural gas for operation. Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, the LEED Gold Certified airport uses natural gas to heat over 5.5 million square feet of the premises. In addition to this, the natural gas is also used to supply fuel for the airport’s bus and vehicle fleet.
Toronto Pearson International Airport
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Toronto Pearson International Airport is one among the only 10 eco-friendly airports in the world, thanks to its consistent efforts to adopt sustainable initiatives. These initiatives have in fact, helped the airport reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 44,800 tons since 2006. Initiatives include energy conserving light and water fixtures, energy efficient variable speed drives for baggage motor systems, and auxiliary power supply for airplanes in a bid to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
San Diego International Airport
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San Diego International Airport holds the distinction of being the first ever LEED Platinum Certified Airport in the world. The airport took on several sustainable initiatives from as far back as 2008, and was one of the first airports to install LED lights on the runways, airfield signs and guard lights. The other sustainable features of the airport include low water fixtures, natural lighting options, solar arrays, drought tolerant landscaping, reflective roofs and green construction materials as well as paint.
A number of airports around the world have started adopting various sustainable initiatives in order to offer a greener space for travelers. These airports have set the standards for green traveling spaces, and stand out from the rest of their counterparts when it comes to being the most eco-friendly airports on earth.