From Vegas to Asia: Self-Sustainability Across the Globe

As a commercial contractor, I have had many opportunities to see the construction and implementation of green building materials. The process by which companies use these materials in order to become LEED-certified is fascinating. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a program that verifies green buildings, homes, neighborhoods and communities. While these facilities are impressive, my real interests lie amongst those eco-conscious individuals who use the buildings on which I work. From what I can tell, there is more to the environmental story than simply the construction of LEED-certified structures.

In other parts of the world, awards are given to those abiding by a sustainable environment. For example, in Asia, an accommodation provider known as The Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards recognizes categories such as community development and engagement, protection of natural areas and/or wildlife conservation, cultural preservation and resource efficiency. These categories cover a number of “going green” acts including serving homegrown, local foods and installing showerheads and faucets with automatic shut-off valves to conserve water.

Believe it or not, but one major tourist destination, Las Vegas, Nevada, has also expressed interest in focusing on green efforts. Businesses have attempted to ensure that their facilities are up to LEED-certified standards. For instance, the Las Vegas Palazzo Resort was recently named the “Most Eco-Friendly Hotel in America” as a result of self-sustaining elements such as reusable waste. The trend is continuing across the country, with hotels in New York City also making efforts to reduce their carbon footprints by creating accommodations for self-sustainability and recycling of waste. The Ink48 hotel, located in Manhattan, New York, has created a program called Earthcare in which members discuss ways to create a more positive impact on the planet. This trend is encouraging to see and will not slow down with other hotels in Las Vegas as well as New York changing their practices. Other countries are beginning to pick up the trend and organizations in the hospitality industry are becoming more sustainable.

Nevertheless, it is rewarding to see individuals embarking on missions to make each facility more self-sustaining. It is even better for someone like me who can have an active role and play a physical part in developing these types of buildings. The idea of self-sustainability and going green are methods that should be in every organizations mind, whether they run a business, a hotel or a larger resort. Las Vegas, boasting over 124,000 hotel rooms, saw over 40 million travelers just last year. If every major city would take small steps in order to reduce our carbon footprint, we would be able to ensure that our planet would remain safe for many more years to come.

Sam Marquit

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