Boston Logan airport going green – runways included

Usually, when people think about “green initiatives”, they think recycled toilet paper and dimmed lighting. At Boston Logan, they are taking an entirely new approach – starting with their newest runway repaving.

Instead of repaving the runway with the common asphalt mix, Logan is using a European developed warm-mix covering. The mix is heated at much lower temperatures, and the environmental impact is reduced by 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide, and a whopping 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

As with most new airport technologies, this one had to pass an FAA testing procedure before getting the green light.

In addition to its newest asphalt, the airport operator is also investing heavily in replacing diesel powered baggage vehicles with electric versions. The airport granted Delta Airlines a $3 million loan to invest in the carts and baggage belt trucks. The new electric vehicles will be used at Terminal A – the world’s first LEED certified airport terminal.

China Surpasses the U.S. in Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Well, it happened much, much sooner than expected: China’s emissions of carbon dioxide surpassed that of the U.S. in total weight of emissions.

This wasn’t supposed to happen so soon. (In fact, a World Resources Institute website from last year, predicted it would happen in 2009.) Moreover, China might surpass the U.S. in total greenhouse gasses in 2009.

Now, admittedly, this doesn’t relate directly to travel. But travelers are usually interested in one or both of two things: cultures and nature, and this issue affects them both.

It’s worth revisiting our blogging on this issue. We’ve dealt with carbon footprints of flying, both here and here. And we’ve told you about your carbon footprint for travel and even stuff changes in places you can visit, like sunscreens for glaciers. We owe it to ourselves and other travelers to be knowledgeable about this and consider these issues.

Not to be too sappy, but it’s never a bad time for some John Muir-like reflection, fellow travelers: “Most people are on the world, not in it; have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them, undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.”