ROMULUS - Detroit Metro Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports in the country.
It has 135 gates, six jet-length runways and services about 32 million passengers each year. That takes a lot of energy and a lot of resources, but the airport is serious about reducing its environmental footprint.
You'll notice it as soon as you arrive at the airport and pull in to park because metro airport has really "seen the light."
It's replaced all of the old light fixtures in both parking structures and installed 7,500 brand new LED lights. The old ones burned out every 13 months these guaranteed to last more than 10 years.
The lights are guided by smart controls that mean they can be set on motion, or available light. And that can save energy.
Plus, travelers, and people who work at the airport say the new lights are much better than the old ones.
Another way Metro Airport is conserving energy is with these charging stations. There are 24 of them at both terminals; right by the entrance and it is free to charge up your car!
The airport also has a better way to refuel its planes and heat or cool the air onboard. They used to use an onboard power unit that ran on jet fuel.
This new way really cuts down on emissions.
During the winter, planes have to be de-iced before they can take off at one of four de-icing pads. Metro Airport has been a pioneer, recycling more than two million gallons of de-icing fluid runoff in the last five years.
Metro Airport is also testing alternatives like solar power and wind turbines to generate electricity. It's not enough to run a terminal, but the power does go back into the grid.
And we can't forget the french fry oil that's being collected to make bio-diesel fuel.
Even the taxicabs and sedans you see at the airport, are working to conserve. Many have voluntarily switched to propane fuel.
Propane has a twenty percent smaller carbon footprint, than gasoline.