If you’re traveling and in the mood to get completely
As humans, we sort of suck when it comes to keeping the world we live in a happy and healthy place. Of course, this isn’t set in stone and we can all do our part to keep the planet healthy. We should all take a cue from the following landmarks and their intuitive use of simplicity to keep tourists coming in droves while simultaneously protecting the environment.
The Eiffel Tower
Perhaps the most recent travel destination to go green, the Eiffel Tower in Paris was installed with two wind turbines. The turbines are meant to offset some of the energy used by the first-floor events. The turbines are just a start to the major changes that will be implemented down the road, including LED lighting and solar panels for the rooftop of the visitor’s pavilion.
California Academy of Sciences’ Living Roof
In California, there’s a roof that monitors wind, rain, and changes in temperature located in the California Academy of Sciences. The roof is covered with solar panels and skylights which help alert automated systems to adjust accordingly. There are 50,000 biodegradable vegetation trays that provide homes for roughly 1.7 million insects, birds, and other wildlife.
In 2009, this iconic structure was retrofitted and has since decreased the amount of energy consumed by 38%. The Empire State Building is the tallest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building and is in the top 25% of most energy-efficient U.S. office buildings.
Sports and nature seem like an obvious choice for eco-friendly areas, after all for baseball you need a good ballpark. You can view every green aspect to the park at their website which boasts a 6,300 square foot green roof that covers the entirety of the concessions and restrooms area.
Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Garage
This colorful parking garage is not only conveniently in the middle of the city but is also the first ever parking garage to get a LEED certification. As a bonus, special bicycle storage units are available, for free, to encourage people to use alternative methods of transportation.
The White House
Several US Presidents have aided in the retrofitting of one of the country’s most well-known homes. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter had solar panels added to the roof but they were removed after President Ronald Regan took office. Then, in 2002 President George W. Bush had the house’s first solar electric system installed. As recently as 2014, President Barack Obama had another set of solar panels installed.
Berlin’s Reichstag Building
Pre-WWII, the Reichstag Building was home to Germany’s parliament. During allied bombing, the building was damaged by a fire in 1933. For a while, the building sat in ruin but in 1999 reconstruction finished and the building has continued it’s run as the home of Unified Germany’s parliament. The glass dome allows more natural light to flood the building by day and has a biofuel-powered heating and power system that provide over 80% of the building’s heat and power.
Rio de Janeiro’s Christ The Redeemer
In order for residents of Rio de Janeiro to see the 2,300 foot statue at night, it was fitted with LED lights in 2011.