Posted on October 3, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
How green is your hotel really?
Consumers catching on to self-serving industry practices
Environmentally savvy travelers aren’t necessarily buying the hotel industry’s green claims, according to a trio of Washington State University researchers, who said there’s growing skepticism that towel re-use programs and other superficial measures are truly a sign of sustainable hotel operations.
The study, published in the Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, suggests that some of those practices are nothing more than greenwashing, referring to the “deceitful practice of promoting environmentally friendly programs while hiding ulterior motives.” Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, tourism, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged: Environment, greenwashing, sustainability, Travel | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Slowing deforestation requires integration of forest planning with other sectors like water and agriculture
Global forests are a key resource that require more attention, experts said at the UN’s forest congress in Durban, South Africa. @bberwyn photo.
Management of the world’s forests must be integrated with other land use planning efforts in order to address the root causes of deforestation, and forests should be recognized as “more than trees,” experts concluded at last week’s World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa.
With good management, forests have great potential to help end hunger, increasing wealth and improving livelihoods in developing countries, as well as in slowing climate change, the delegates from around the world said in the session-ending Durban Declaration.
Filed under: Environment, forests | Tagged: climate change, Durban declaration, forest conservation, forests, sustainability, world forestry congress | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘The window of opportunity is closing fast …’
FRISCO — Some of the world’s leading scientists say it’s time to get serious and take bold action now to ensure completion of an effective climate treaty this year.
Banding together as the Earth League, the scientists released a statement spelling out what’s needed to give the world a good chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. The first essential element is a commitment to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, which requires transition to a zero-carbon society by mid-century.
“The window of opportunity is closing fast. We are on a trajectory that will leave our world irrevocably changed, far exceeding the 2 degrees Celsius mark,” said Johan Rockström, Chair of the Earth League, Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and board member of the Global Challenges Foundation. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, climate science, climate tipping points, Earth Day, Earth League, Earth Statement, global warming, sustainability | 3 Comments »
Posted on November 3, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
‘It is clear that the way we are managing the environment is unsustainable for many of our most familiar species’
Bird populations across Europe have experienced sharp declines over the past 30 years, with the majority of losses from the most common species, according to a new study from the University of Exeter (UK).
The study documented a decrease of 421 million individual birds over 30 years. About 90 percent of these losses were from the 36 most common and widespread species, including house sparrows, skylarks, grey partridges and starlings. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, bird conservation, bird population declines, Birds, Environment, sustainability, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 29, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A raceway pond used for the cultivation of microalgae. The water is kept in constant motion with a powered paddle wheel. Photo courtesy the Wikimedia Commons.
Water availability, nutrient use seen as key challenges
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Algae-based biofuels have been touted as the next big thing in renewable energy. But based on existing technologies, production on a significant scale — for example enough to supply 5 percent of U.S. transportation fuel needs — would put unsustainable demands on energy, water, and nutrients, according to a new report from the National Research Council.
But those concerns are not a definitive barrier for future production, the report concluded, emphasizing that technical innovations could change the equation.
Biofuels derived from algae and cyanobacteria could help the U.S. meet its energy security needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Potential advantages over biofuels made from land plants, including algae’s ability to grow on non-croplands in cultivation ponds of freshwater, salt water, or wastewater. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, renewable energy | Tagged: algae biofuels, biofuels, renewable energy, sustainability, United States Department of Energy, United States National Research Council | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 25, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Grassroots group strives toward sustainable ski industry.
Mountain Rider’s Alliance partners with sustainable engineering group to refine vision
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Mountain Rider’s Alliance vision for a sustainable ski industry is about to grow some flesh and bones, as the grassroots group partners with a well-known engineering firm to develop specific plans for carbon-neutral, net-zero-energy ski areas.
The partnership between MRA and the Brendle Group with forge toward a new model for sustainability in the ski industry, focused on alternative business models for small and medium-sized resorts.
For starters, the Brendle Group will develop and test a model for sustainability at Mt. Abram that can be replicated elsewhere, starting with comprehensive assessments of energy use, land use, procurement, and community sustainability to identify options for net zero carbon, energy, and water operations as well as integrating sustainability and local economic development. Continue reading
Filed under: business, Colorado, economy, recreation, ski industry, skiing and riding | Tagged: Environment, Mountain Rider's Alliance, ski industry, Ski Resorts, sustainability | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 23, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
The Colorado ski industry has done very little to address its massive environmental impact, including significant greenhouse gas emissions and unsustainable use of water.
Colorado tourism industry lags on environmental front
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — In an era when reducing greenhouse gas emissions has been targeted as a critical priority, it’s more challenging than ever to reconcile tourism with environmental concerns.
Some parts of the tourism industry are big contributors to climate change, including energy use in lodging facilities (think of all the laundry and dishes being washed on a daily basis), as well as transportation, especially automobiles and passenger jets.
In the face of those impacts, some of the minor efforts by the industry seem almost insignificant, but at least on a global scale, tourism leaders are thinking about how to boost the use of sustainable and renewable energy in the sector.
The World Tourism Organization has faced accusations of trying to greenwash tourism, but the global body has taken a few concrete steps toward promoting sound environmental policies. Continue reading
Filed under: business, Colorado, economy, Environment, Summit County news | Tagged: Maspalomas, sustainability, Sustainable energy, Tourism, World Tourism Day, World Tourism Organization | Leave a comment »