Eco-Living Magazine

Eco-Friendly Casinos

Posted on the 14 May 2011 by Alison_wood @midnight_eden

The marriage of these two spheres, eco-friendly living and casinos, does not immediately inspire confidence.  If we’re being honest, casinos don’t exactly epitomize the ideals of conservancy; they are largely dedicated to hedonism, excess, and waste.  They appear to be the exact opposite of everything that green living stands for.  And yet, you have to dig a little deeper to see that, at the heart of things, casinos truly embrace the same principles that fuel environmentalism.  Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but you have to admit that at the heart of every casino operation is the desire to make as much money as possible.  And we can all agree that waste, to any extent, does not pay.  So while the glossy veneer of casino operation supports an attitude of extravagance, most casinos are actually better at caring for the environment than you might expect.

Casinos of old were dark, necessitating a lot of electrical lighting.  This is because they didn’t want people to know how long they’d been playing (the same reason there are no clocks).  But that’s a lot of electricity to push, and so newer casinos are festooned with windows (and even skylights, in some cases) that allow owners to cut back on the number of hours they have to pump electricity to interior light fixtures.  In addition, many casinos have jumped on the bandwagon of energy-efficient lighting, installing bulbs that last longer and require less energy.  Of course, that doesn’t account for all the electricity needed to run the thousands of slot machines that festoon the floor, but on that front there have been improvements, as well.  Newer slot machines have been designed to use only half the electricity of older models.  And many casinos (especially in sunny climes) have started to install solar panels as a way to further cut their electricity bill (and take advantage of tax incentives).

But electricity isn’t the only area that has undergone a green renovation when it comes to casinos.  Both water- and air-usage have been cleaned up, as well.  Many casinos now plant trees around their buildings as a way to clean up the air and provide insulation against the elements (cutting down on heating and AC).  And in some instances, vents pipe in outside air which circulates through the casino, gets sucked through filters, and sent back outside, improving interior air quality with less electrical output.  As for water, some casinos are now coming equipped with their own sewage treatment and water purification centers so that their waste water can be recycled for use on the grounds.

Did you know that there are even casinos that have managed to achieve the coveted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification?  Several casinos across the United States have now managed to nab this eco-friendly title (which requires applicants to meet extremely high standards for building and operation), including the Palazzo in Las Vegas.  And dozens more have applied for certification.  In short, it’s a brave new world for casinos, where outdated energy-guzzling is frowned upon as owners look for ways to bring in every last penny possible, doing their part for the environment along the way.

Shirley Simpson writes for Online Poker Sites, one of the best US online poker sites on the web today.

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