About two weeks ago, as I was sipping from a cocktail on a white-pebbled beach in a Greek bay with crystal blue clear water, I started thinking about the enormous amount of energy that is used every year in making people’s summer holidays happen. Holidays account for a surprising amount of the energy we use each year, with flights, driving, hotel stays and added extras like boat trips all contributing to our carbon footprint. continue
Category: Travel & Leisure
This is the time of year when my family takes our annual strawberry pickin’ jaunt up to Huber’s Orchard & Winery in Starlight, Ind. Up at the crack o’ dawn, riding the tractor-pulled wagon out to the lush (and often dewy) fields to “u-pick” a gallon or so of those succulent berries – I’ve gleefully made this trip every year since I was 4 years old. A wonderful bonus to the bounty that will become preserves, pies and shortcake topping is the scenic 50-mile round-trip drive to the orchard.
On a stretch of Scottsville Road sits a house that has always fascinated me. Why, you ask? It’s underground. All that passersby can see of it is the roof, which is covered in – drum roll please – solar panels. continue
With summer upon us, Americans are once again engaged in a grand old tradition: griping about high gas prices. Our pain at the pump has been acute for the last few months, and it doesn’t seem likely to get better any time soon. Over the holiday weekend, as gas prices spiked, I ran a little demand response program of my own – spending the long weekend in the comfort of my home instead of burning gas on a road trip. In times like these, our political leaders are quick to sell the public on convenient villains, from evil OPEC to those dastardly oil companies. Still, we all know that those who are the first to assign blame usually deserve a bit of it themselves. continue
While I was researching my topic for last month’s blog—the electrification of rural America—I stumbled across some related topics that caught my attention. Specifically, how did the mass electrification of the U.S. influence our music? continue
As an avid golfer, I have a keen appreciation for a well-maintained golf course. It is not much fun to play a course with patchy fairways, bumpy greens, or sand traps that are like concrete. You want a course to reward good shots, punish
bad shots, and allow the skill of the golfer, not the condition of the course, to determine the outcome of a match. It is imperative that those in charge of maintaining courses, especially for private clubs, do everything they can to keep them healthy and well groomed. Cutting corners is not encouraged or rewarded. Greenkeepers who like their jobs understand that. So, when I conducted an Internet search for energy-related articles that have anything to do with golf, I was not expecting much. My assumption was that energy efficiency, energy conservation, and sustainability strategies, are relative strangers to the vernacular of golf course maintenance. continue
I’m a huge movie fan and there are many reasons why this time of year is one of my favorites: the Oscars, the anticipation of the upcoming year’s movies and the reviews from the Sundance Film Festival. This year I’ve been on such a movie high that I’ve already decided on next year’s vacation — a trip to Sundance to see its glory all for myself!
Although I have a whole year to plan my trip to Utah (the next festival is in January 2012), it was raining today and there’s no better time to plan a vacation than on a rainy afternoon. I’ve officially begun my research. As I checked out the various venues and my lodging options, I learned that the 2011 Sundance Film Festival utilized renewable energy credits to offset the electricity use for the fifth consecutive year. continue
On March 16, I will be visiting Las Vegas. In an effort to encourage corporate sustainability, specifically sustainable tourism, I’ve taken it upon myself to support companies that exhibit environmental stewardship and energy efficiency. That’s why I just might seek out and congratulate a Caesars Entertainment Corporation representative for the company’s very successful corporate sustainability strategy.
At this point, it bears mentioning that the timing of my visit to Las Vegas, the location of Caesars’ Nevada headquarters and a certain college basketball tournament are all purely coincidental. Also coincidental: that I planned this trip with seven other Murray State alumni last June. continue
My favourite sport is sailing. They always say that when you go sailing for the first time, you either hate it or you love it. Well, I’ve definitely fallen into that last category. Since I set foot aboard a sailing yacht about 10 years ago, I must have sailed more than 80,000 nautical miles, including 9 transatlantic crossings, on big yachts, on dinghies, in the Caribbean, in the Med, on the North Sea, you name it. I’m seriously hooked!
And come to think of it, I must have been hooked on energy management without ever even realizing it since the day I took on sailing!
Now, what on earth does sailing have to do with energy management? Well, everything. Think about it. Sailing requires energy to make your yacht sail forward. This energy is delivered in the form of wind (and to some extent waves and current), gets transferred to your sailing yacht, and with the right on-board energy management programme (right choice of sails and surface, trim of sails, steering at the right wind angle, tacking, gibing, navigating charts… ) your yacht starts to sail! continue
Picture this: clear waters, beautiful beaches, a buzzing marketplace, intimate bungalows, villas and homes all on your own private island. Sounds like the stuff dreams are made of, right? Well not any more.
STAR Island is its name and not only does it have all of the aforementioned luxurious amenities, but it is also, as stated on their website, “the worlds first sustainable, carbon neutral, exotic island resort.” Located in Eleuthera Bahamas, STAR, which stands for Sustainable Terrain and Resources, will allow for the island locals and visitors to indulge them selves and gain the satisfaction that they are supporting responsible energy management. continue
The best way to travel is to venture off the beaten path, away from the sites that scream “Tourist!” Take London—beyond the museums, pubs, and glamour lies a country rich with unusual attractions and rare communities. In the county of Cornwall you can visit The Eden Project where students and families alike can learn some of the “go-green” tips energy professionals demonstrate every day.