Hawaii is Greenifying

July 17, 2008

Hawaii is making headlines in recent eco-news. 85% of Hawaii’s energy now comes from imported fossil fuels, but the tide is turning. New home construction is now required to include solar water heaters. Hawaii is the first state to mandate the solar water heaters, and about 20% of homes are currently equipped with them. Water heaters generally consume a quarter to almost half of all household power, although solar water heaters are almost ten times as expensive as traditional water heaters, the electric savings will recoup the expense in a few years.

Next in the eco-news is air conditioning. Downtown Honolulu will soon be welcoming a 25,000 ton seawater air conditioning district cooling system developed by Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning. The process should save up to 80 % of the electricity used for air conditioning. The process will actually only use the coolness of the sea water, rather than the actual sea water.

Another interesting project in the works is the development of an algae biodiesel plant. Algae may prove to be the best source of bio fuel we have available. The energy yield in an acre of algae is estimated to be at least 30 times more than that of soy beans or almost 13 times the amount of energy from corn. HR Biopetroleum is currently in negotiations with Maui Electric, Hawaiian Electric and Alexander and Baldwin to develop an algae facility in Maui.

Hawaii is still big on vacation plans and hoteliers are no strangers to greenifying. The Mauna Lani Resort was recently recognized by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, National Geographic Traveler Magazine and Golf Magazine for their eco-practices. Other green-friendly hotels include the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, the Kauai Marriott Resort and Spa, the nine Hilton properties and the 12 Starwood properties.

So, whether you are in Hawaii to work or play, your chances to Greenify are many!


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