Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Green Practices at Yellowstone

In recent years, Yellowstone has adopted innovative and effective sustainability practices. As the world's first national park, Yellowstone is still making history by introducing creative initiatives that address pollution prevention, renewable alternative fuels, recycling opportunities, and energy conservation. 

To help maintain the parks pristine air quality, rangers and other park officials utilize hybrid vehicles when possible. Compared to the average car, hybrids reduce the amount of emissions by roughly 90%. The park also mandates that every diesel-powered vehicle use fuel made with 20% vegetable oil. Researchers use the park to demonstrate other such alternative fuels and pollution prevention concepts, such as operating trucks on 100% biodiesel. Additionally, all unleaded fueled vehicles operate on an ethanol blend, reducing dependency on contemtional fossil fuels, as well as maintaining air quality.

Yellowstone also recycles tons of paper, aluminum, glass, plastic, cardboard and other materials every year. Much of the recycled materials are used for projects in the park. More than 60,000 square feet of recycled plastic lumber have been used to construct boardwalks and viewing platforms. In addition, the park has developed a revolutionary propane cylinder recycling program preventing thousands of small canisters from ending up in land fills. Instead, the cylinders are collected at all major campgrounds and recycled. The cylinders are purged of all remaining propane, then crushed and redeemed as recycled steel.

In executing new construction proj-ects, Yellowstone is adhering the guidelines set out by a stringent green rating system. Many new houses and buildings will have low energy lighting, natural ventilation, and will use locally obtained materials. The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center will be one of the first visitor centers in the National Park Service to meet official LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards.

Many organizations work with Yellowstone to demonstrate a high standard of environmental stewardship. With the help of these devoted private and public partners, the park looks to continue implementing and developing new sustainability techniques.