With the summer coming up, you may be thinking about where you want to go on your summer vacation. Maybe you’ve wanted to take an eco-friendly trip and want to stay in the U.S. Have you ever been to Yellowstone National Park? In the past few years, they’ve started an initiative to begin to make Yellowstone more eco-friendly, from alternative fuels, to reducing consumption, to recycling programs, to selling environmentally-friendly souvenirs in their gift shop.
It’s all part of the Yellowstone Environmental Stewardship (or YES!), which began in 2008 as a way to make the park more environmentally friendly and to hit sustainability goals by 2016, which is the 100th anniversary of the park’s opening. The goals for the park include:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%
- Reduce electricity consumption by 15%
- Reduce fossil fuel consumption by 18%
- Reduce water consumption by 15%
- Divert 100% of solid waste from landfills
There are plenty of initiatives inside the park that are helping to achieve all these goals. To conserve water, the park is implementing two initiatives to reduce water consumption. One involves modernizing the over 25-year-old irrigation system, while another involves monitoring water usage by installing meters to oversee it in real-time. Energy-wise, the park has started to install more energy-efficient equipment in its offices and around the park, as well as utilizing hydropower while expanding on their solar panel arrays already in use. The park is also going green with their transportation, having already converted their fleet fueling stations to alternative fuel blends. They are also making long-term investments in buying hybrid vehicles and investing in replacing the tires on their entire fleet with more fuel-efficient tires. In the gift shop, visitors will be able to take home environmentally-friendly souvenirs like reusable water bottles and greeting cards that are made from recycled materials and – don’t be squeamish! – bison dung.
So with all the different kinds of vacations you can take this summer, why not go to Yellowstone if you haven’t been there yet? You’ll be watching the greening of one of the greatest national parks in the country!
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