These Eco-Friendly Airports Are Inspiring a Green Revolution
Our friends at Cheapflights.com are celebrating Earth Day 2016 with a story by Toronto-based travel writer Jessica Padykula (@JessPadykula) spotlighting “eco-innovating” airports from around the world. Here are some of the airports that are leading the way in sustainability:
Changi International Airport in Singapore is considered an overall top airport experience by savvy travelers, and it leads the way in eco-friendliness too. Here you’ll find more than 900 skylights (which cut down on electricity for lighting), indoor gardens, rainwater harvesting, and even a butterfly garden and a nature trail.
Pearson International Airport in Toronto is pioneering a cool new mode of sustainability by introducing a honeybee apiary to help support food security and farming in the area surrounding the airport.
San Francisco International Airport has bragging rights to the U.S.’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification for its Terminal 2. More than 90 percent of the terminal’s construction and demolition waste was recycled, the airport planted more than 2,000 trees to reduce CO2 emissions by 120 tons per year, and water usage has gone down by more than 57 million gallons per year.
East Midlands Airport in the U.K. installed two commercial-scale wind turbines, producing 5 percent of the airport’s electricity, and since 2012 the airport has been achieving “carbon-neutral” ground operations.
Denver International Airport has installed four solar arrays, bringing its total solar capacity to 10 megawatts, the most of any American airport and enough electricity to power more than 2,000 homes each year.
What is your favorite travel book?
It's no coincidence I road-tripped Route 66 during Spring Break of my senior year in college; my American Lit class had just covered Jack Kerouac's On the Road. There's a reason I hopped on the Trans-Siberian Railway this summer, and its name is War and Peace. (If you have the patience to plow through that behemoth, you deserve a vacation-reward of some kind!) For me, nothing inspires wanderlust more than a well-crafted travel book. Sometimes, that may come in the form of a novel that really captures the essence of a place, like War and Peace. Other times, it may be a non-fiction travel narrative, like the wonderful works of Bill Bryson, a personal favorite. Last month, we recognized the most travel-inspiring movies of the year by doling out our first-ever round of Budget Travel Oscar awards, and I'll be the first to admit that films can do wonders to put destinations on the tourist map. (If the stunning vistas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy didn't at least make you consider a Kiwi tour, well, then, you might be dead.) But I'd argue that the experience of reading a book sells a place even more. (Not a surprising perspective, I suppose, coming from an editor…) To really get acquainted with a destination, it's not enough to just look at pretty landscapes (my apologies to the LOTR cinematographers); you need to absorb the details of its history, get a sense of its layout and landscape, learn about the food its residents eat, the music they dance to, the smells in the air. Books have the home-court advantage here—they have more time and space to describe such details. Here, then, we've decided to spearhead an effort to come up with a definitive list of the 25 greatest travel books of all time. (Consider it a bookworm-friendly compliment to our BT Oscars!) We plan to pick the brains of top travel writers and editors for nominations, but first, we wanted to go to our favorite experts—yes, that's you—our readers! Please tell us your favorite travel book and why it holds your top spot. (I need a few new titles to add to my summer reading list, so I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say!) And keep your eyes out for our article on the 25 greatest travel books of all time. It'll grace the pages of this very website soon! MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: BT Bookshelf: 3 specialized summer guides (Finally!) A coffee table-worthy photo book How a Kindle can help you travel
Paris: The controversial love locks
Paris's "love padlocks": Romantic idea, or public defacement? The railings on Paris's Pont des Arts bridge are covered with multi-colored padlocks. For a few years, couples have been attaching padlocks to the pedestrian bridge. They toss the keys into the Seine in a gesture of endless love. No one is sure how the tradition started. The HuffPo reports that the gesture may have been copied from lovers in China. Chinese couples have locking up their love and throwing away the key from the sides of Mount Huang for decades. if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('109ab273-bed7-495a-938f-608d21e44174');Get the Poll Creator Pro widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)In the case of Paris, officials think the padlocks are an eyesore. So one day last year, about 2,000 of them disappeared from the bridge. Some locals and visitors complained, and the locks are slowly being added again. Romantic idea, or public defacement? It's all in the eye of the beholder. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL Real Deal: Paris & Rome, Air/6 Nights, From $999 What do you collect on your travels? (35+ comments) Would you fly more frequently if airplane seats were more comfortable? (40+ comments)
Road to Hollywood Tour coming to a theater near you
Since March 3rd, the Turner Classic Movies Road to Hollywood Tour has been traveling across America, giving audiences the chance to view their favorite classic films and meet the stars who made them. Tickets are free but limited to a first-come first-served basis. Just click on the movie you want to see and download your ticket from the website. The Road to Hollywood Tour culminates in the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, California, from April 28th to May 1st. There are still a few stops to go from now through April 21st. The Birds will be shown at the Hi Pointe Theatre in St. Louis, MO, on Monday, April 4th, and at the Cinema Arts Theatre in Huntington, NY, on Wednesday, April 13th. Both shows begin at 7:30pm with an appearance by the film's star, Tippi Hedren. On Saturday, April 16th, Rio Bravo will be shown at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX, with a special appearance by Angie Dickinson. Elmer Gantry will be shown at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco—with special guest Shirley Jones—while the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian in Hollywood will feature From Here to Eternity on Thursday, April 21st with an appearance by Ernest Borgnine. All shows begin at 7:30pm. Personally, I think more classic films should be put back into theaters every now and then, just to give another generation the chance to relive the cinema magic. I still remember seeing Gone With the Wind in theaters when the film celebrated its 60th anniversary in 1999. I was in the seventh grade and we had been studying the Civil War in school. My parents had shown me the movie at home, but everything was so much more powerful on the big screen. I can't even begin to imagine my reaction if Clark Gable or Vivien Leigh had been there to talk about their experiences in the film. What classic films would you like to see on the big screen? Will any of you be going to the films on the Road to Hollywood Tour? — Kaeli Conforti MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: My love/hate relationship with in-flight movies Utrecht: Holland's "Festival City" What is your favorite travel book?
The ideal vacation: Indulge or detox?
They are two very opposite notions of what a vacation should be — totally indulging in all your desires with the all-you-can-eat options and services of all-inclusives and cruises, or totally depriving yourself of them with cleansing detox retreats, complete with calorie-conscious meals and yoga classes. And yet both vacation trends are thriving, despite one another. if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('ff4d280a-3db6-4eff-bd4e-c333116a82f3');Get the Poll Creator Pro widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)On the one end, you have the continuously increasing number of all-inclusive resorts and cruise ships, which continue to reinvent themselves, capturing more and more market share on the premise that once you're on the property or ship, there are no worries, and no restraint. The concept is growing in part because it is also expanding its reach. Take all-inclusive resorts, for example, an idea introduced by Club Med 60 years ago. But what once had the reputation of being reserved for families on a budget or the party-in-the-pool crowd, has evolved into a much more sophisticated product offering. Now, there are high-end and luxury all-inclusive resorts, where the mile-long buffet has been replaced by chef's table specialty restaurants serving molecular cuisine. El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels in Mexico, for instance, is an example of a property that embraces the concept of the "gourmet inclusive," which encompasses fine dining cuisine, swim-up suites and butler service. The non-stop building momentum in the cruise industry, with more and bigger ships being launched each year, further proves that the all-inclusive vacation experience on mega ships such as Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, remains an attractive, happy-go-lucky vacation option for many travelers. And while for some, this is seen as the true definition of paradise, there are others who go on a vacation to experience just the opposite, to be deprived of the things that tempt them at home. For them, there is a booming industry of yoga retreats and healthy living getaways at properties such as the Blue Pearl Laguna, a yoga, hiking, and cleansing retreat, in Laguna Beach, Calif., where the proprietors prepare nutritious meals and host yoga classes and hiking excursions. Or a company like Escape to Shape, which hosts exotic trips that combine luxury accommodations with fitness and healthy cuisine. I can just see the two factions trying to understand one another. The indulger: "So, you're paying to starve and sweat?" The detoxer: "So, you're paying to be stuffed and pampered?" Perhaps, the two types of vacationers will never see eye to eye, or perhaps there is some room for crossover. It all comes down to how you define your vacation time. What about you? Do you see vacation as a time to indulge or detox? Let us know by voting in our poll or commenting below. More from Budget Travel: Ask Trip Coach: All-inclusive resorts Are health-conscious cruises all the rage? The nation's top resorts and spas on sale during Wellness Week