Southern California environment news and trends

Pres. Obama keeps it eco-friendly at Las Vegas hotel

Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

In Las Vegas to deliver an early campaign speech focused on energy, President Obama stayed true to his message by checking into an eco-friendly hotel for the night.

Speaking in front of a local UPS center last Thursday, the President pressed his energy agenda, announcing plans for new oil drilling leases in Mexico. Appropriately eschewing the bright lights of the Strip, Obama and his entourage then made their way to the LEED-certified Element by Westin hotel more than ten miles away.

The boutique hotel is aggressively environmentally conscious, featuring multiple recycling bins (glass, paper and plastic) and energy-efficient appliances in every room, and EV charging stations in the parking lot. The Presidential posse booked the entire second floor of the four-story hotel. Suites at the Element like the one the President stayed in run a reasonable $170 per night.


Digging for green at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show

(Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

People sample a 3M Touch Systems 46-inch PCT-display demonstrating the scalability of projective capacitive technology at CES Unveiled, ahead of the opening of the annual Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The world of technology has descended on Las Vegas to ogle the latest and greatest gadgets at the Consumer Electronics Show (better known as the CES), not exactly the bastion of environmentalism or sustainability. Showcasing everything from household appliances to children’s toys, anything and everything that can be plugged in, charged up and do something is on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center floor, packed with exhibitors, retailers and credentialed electro-groupies.

Of course, some concession to conservation has to be made amidst this orgy of energy. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) who put on the event have created the “Sustainable Planet Zone”, an area specifically for companies that produce environmentally sound products and services. But according to critics at the show, it’s not much to talk about.