Green is Universal

New Attractions and Green Practices at Universal Orlando Resort

It’s an exciting summer at Universal Orlando Resort! The home of Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure (which includes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) has just opened two new, world-class attractions:

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is a fantastical quest to find the legendary beast, himself. On your ride through dark jungles, you’ll fight off jungle predators and hostile tribes.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is the newest on-site hotel. Lounge and splash about in the 16,000 square foot pool—the largest pool in the resort hotels—and sleep in one of 1,000 guest rooms, including 83 suites. Order a delicious meal at Amatista Cookhouse (try the mojo-marinated rotisserie chicken) and ride the watertaxi past great views of the waterfalls at the lagoon.

But Universal Orlando Resort isn’t just a fantastic family getaway—it’s also making huge strides to limit its carbon footprint.

Here are just a few ways it stay green:

  • All excess food is donated to the Second Harvest Foodbank.
  • 19% of the park’s total waste was diverted in 2015.
  • There are 2,500 recycling locations throughout the parks.

Check out more ways Universal is keeping it green in this handy infographic, and go here to see what other exciting events are happening at the resort:

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#TMYK: Water-Saving Tips from NBCUniversal Stars

During the summer, we tend to use a lot of water—washing cars, playing in sprinklers, hydrating the lawn. But there are still ways to conserve water, even when the mercury is high.

In these The More You Know videos, NBCUniversal stars share their favorite ways to do so.

TODAY’s Hoda Kotb recommends cutting down on our shower time by listening to music:

Sunny Side Up’s Tim Kubart reminds us to turn off the tap when we’re brushing our teeth:

In addition, here are some more easy ways to save water, via the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency and the National Resources Defense Council:

  • Bathroom: Shower instead of bathing. Showers use on average 10 to 25 gallons of water, while a full bathtub can use up to 70 gallons.
  • Kitchen: If you have the option, use your dishwasher instead of washing by hand, which could use up to 10 times more water. And only wash full loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
  • Yard: Water your grass or garden in the morning when it’s still cool outside; at midday, more of the water will evaporate.
  • Vehicle: Get your car washed professionally as opposed to doing it yourself. This could save up to 100 gallons of water.
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On Thrills and Sustainability, Mr. Robot Delivers

Hold on tight. The second season of USA’s Mr. Robot premieres Wednesday, July 13th at 10/9c, and it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

A quick review: the show stars Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a young cyber-security engineer who’s drafted into the secret hacker collective fsociety, led by the enigmatic and mysterious Mr. Robot (Christian Slater). The second season sees the fallout from the group’s major hack of Evil Corp, the show’s behemoth multi-national company. Mr. Robot also stars Portia Doubleday (Her), Carly Chaikin (Suburgatory), Martin Wallström (Simple Simon), Grace Gummer (The Newsroom), Michael Cristofer (Ray Donovan) and Stephanie Corneliussen (Legends of Tomorrow).

But this show isn’t just racking up industry awards–it’s also picking up nods for its eco-friendly practices on-set. Mr. Robot received an EMA Green Seal for its sustainable production practices on season one. And here are some ways the crew kept things green during filming for season two:

  • Fuel: In order to cut carbon emissions, a special blend of B20 biodiesel was used for generators and trucks.
  • Electricity: The Mr. Robot lighting department used energy-efficient LED lighting, which greatly reduced energy demands.
  • Recycling/Composting: Systems for both recycling and composting were implemented throughout production; season 2 also saw a composting program that traveled to on-location filming.
  • Food: Catering worked with Rock and Wrap It Up! to donate food to members of the NYC community who are food insecure. This also reduced the amount of methane gas that was released into the atmosphere.

Read more about Mr. Robot‘s sustainable practices here, and be sure to tune in to the season two premiere on Wednesday, July 13th at 10/9c, on USA.

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Green Your July 4th Celebration

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July 4th is a time to celebrate, and NBC will be doing so in style, along with Kenny Chesney, 5 Seconds of Summer, Meghan Trainor, Pitbull, Sara Bareilles and many others at this year’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, live at 8 pm ET. While you’re preparing for your own party or BBQ, keep these tips in mind to make your holiday a greener one:

  • Forty percent of food in the U.S. ends up in landfills. Reduce your food waste by saving and freezing leftovers instead of throwing them away.
  • If you’re grilling, consider using propane instead of charcoal to cut down on your carbon footprint.
  • Instead of paper or Styrofoam plates, dish up your meal onto reusable or biodegradable plates.
  • It may be hot, but if all your guests are outdoors, there’s no keep the air conditioner on. Make sure to turn it down or off.
  • And while you’re at it, don’t forget to shut off power strips to cut down on phantom energy.
  • If you’re tuning in to the fireworks on NBC, save energy by turning off the lights while the TV is on. (And isn’t it better to watch fireworks in the dark?)

Happy July 4th!

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“Odd Mom Out” Star Shares How to Save Some Green by Going Green

Bravo’s Odd Mom Out returns for its second season this Monday, June 20! Joanna Cassidy stars in the breakout scripted series, but did you know she’s also an environmental star? Watch her green PSA for The More You Know campaign:

“Need a few easy ways to save some cash? Adjust your thermostat a few degrees, run your appliances at off-peak hours, and turn off your computer and your light every night. Hey, change is good – the jingling kind especially.” Great ways to save money AND energy!

Check out The More You Know’s environmental playlist for more eco-friendly tips, and don’t miss the Odd Mom Out season two premiere on Monday, June 20th at 10pm ET.

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Green News: NBC-Owned Station Unveils Eco-Friendly Facility

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NBC 7 San Diego moved into a new state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly broadcast facility this spring. The owned station’s new home in Kearny Mesa, California has a certified energy-efficient design that minimizes employees’ impact on the environment in subtle-yet-serious ways.

Here are some of the news center’s greenest features:

  • A 200 KW solar rooftop system and parking lot
  • A 250 KW natural gas fuel cell that emits low carbon electricity
  • A new, tightly-controlled efficient HVAC system that conserves electricity
  • Air-cooled chillers that are capable of using outside cold air to cool computer equipment
  • LED lighting all throughout the facility, including the news studios
  • Use of natural light in lieu of electric light by incorporating occupancy and sunlight driven lighting, solatubes and skylights and automatic shades that are light-sensor driven
  • A low-flow drip system for sprinklers that contains a smart irrigation controller
  • Low-flow water devices, drought tolerant plants and ground cover.

See for yourself as NBC 7’s Jodi Kodesh takes viewers behind the scenes, and learn more about NBCUniversal’s commitment to sustainable facilities here.

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Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Brings Big Laughs and a Smaller Carbon Footprint

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping premieres in theaters today, June 3! Headlined by musical comedy trio The Lonely Island, the film is not only hilarious, but its cast and crew members were conscious of their environmental impact. This NBCUniversal comedy was filmed in Los Angeles, and earned a 2015 EMA Green Seal award for such sustainable production practices as:

  • Fuel: Eliminated single room trailers and replaced tractor trailers with less fuel-intensive 10-ton trucks.
  • Electricity: Used B20 biodiesel in generators at the Long Beach Convention Center and reduced generators by tying into the electric grid while shooting the concert scenes at The Forum.
  • Construction: Built sets with FSC-certified plywood and donated many sets for reuse.
  • Food: Recycled on set, composted food waste, and donated excess food to local organizations throughout the Los Angeles area for a total of nearly 1,700 meals.

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Read more about Popstar‘s sustainable production practices here, and more about the movie here.

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Small Acts, Big Difference: NBCUniversal Employees Go Green

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Both at home and in the office, NBCUniversal employees are taking small steps to help reduce their impact on the environment. During Earth Week, we asked our employees across the company to share how they’re going green in their daily lives. Here are some of our favorite responses:

“I am recycling the brown paper bags from the commissary. I often have to pick up meals for multiple producers and executive assistants so rather than grabbing a new bag every run, I make sure to re-use the same bags I already have under my desk. Every little bit helps.”
-Eric H.

“Reuse the following: zip lock bags, plastic bags, one sided memo paper as note paper, dryer sheets for cleaning, wiping, dusting furniture [and] other surfaces.”
-Inez B.

“Recycling of course is the first and easiest step to help make the world a ‘Greener Place.’ Creating a natural compost in my personal garden is a good step in the right direction to add to making the world a ‘Greener Place’ as well.”
-Anthony P.

“I ride my bike to the bus stop and take the bus everyday on my commute to work instead of driving by myself in my car.”
-Sara P.

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“Nothing tastes like vegetables that you’ve grown yourself…Planting a vegetable garden was a great bonding experience with my daughter in celebration of Earth Day.”
-Yenny V.

“I recycle. I wash my car once a month. I reuse plastic containers as food storage until they disintegrate. I turn off the lights and unplug appliances when I’m not using them. I sort and collect my plastic and aluminum containers, and hand the bags to the homeless man who collects these items for money. I turn off the lights when leaving the room. I use washable napkins instead of paper towels. I use rechargeable batteries. I make sure my appliances are unplugged when I’m not using them and I recently installed a water-friendly toilet for my bathroom. Go team planet!”
-Norma M.

“I just got a ‘zero emission’ battery-powered electric car, so I’m not consuming gasoline and oil, while cutting my carbon output.”
-Mark S.

“I recycle every day, use cold water to wash clothing and unplug all appliances each morning when I leave my apartment to save energy.”
-Lauren B.

“I’ve recently learned how animal agriculture is actually one of the leading causes that’s harming the environment (far more than, say, driving a car every day or taking longer showers) and it is very unsustainable. Because of this, I have recently begun eating an almost entirely vegan diet. I have also made it a point to dramatically reduce my use of plastic, most easily done at work by using the provided plates and silverware in the commissary and at home with the help of my girlfriend who shops with reusable containers and bulk bins.”
-Andrew N.

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“Instead of taking cabs around the city to visit friends, we all walked to the park and spent the afternoon in the rowboats in Central Park! It was a fun afternoon with no carbon footprint! It was a great day in nature!”
-Laura P.

“When I moved into my apartment, all of the light bulbs were incandescent. I bought energy-efficient light bulbs, and I have been replacing the incandescent light bulbs as they burned out. Now all of my fixtures have energy-efficient light bulbs.”
-Seth R.

“Recycling, changed my entire home to LED lighting, replaced my electric heating with an efficient whole house HVAC unit, investigating solar power for my home and replaced all my home windows with energy-efficient ones.”
-Steven S.

“I take reusable fabric bags to the store whenever I go grocery shopping. I don’t have to waste any plastic bags, and the fabric bags hold a lot more, too!”
-Maria B.

“My home does not have access to local recycling pickup and recycling is not mandatory in my town. I separate my recyclables and drop them off at the town recycling center and plastic bags to the local supermarket for recycling.”
-Patricia G.

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“Recycling 30 Rock’s e-waste and proper regulatory disposal of universal and hazardous waste.”
-Vincent L.

Thank you for showing how Green is Universal!

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TODAY Celebrates 100 Years of National Parks

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The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial anniversary this summer, and NBC’s TODAY commemorated this milestone with “100 Years of National Parks TODAY.” From May 9-12, the show’s anchors brought eight of the most beautiful, fascinating national parks to viewers at home.

Biscayne National Park & Dry Tortugas National Park

On Monday, Natalie Morales and Jenna Bush Hager reported live from Florida, showcasing some of the state’s unique parks. Biscayne National Park covers more than 250 square miles, but most of it is hidden underwater. “We are the largest marine park in the national park system, 95 percent of our 173,000 acres is covered by water,” said Park Ranger Gary Bremen. “It’s a place of mangroves and bay and islands and reefs and human history.”

Their next stop was Dry Tortugas National Park, just off the coast of Key West. “Originally named Las Tortugas, the area is famous for sea turtles,” said Morales. “It’s also a great spot for bird watching, with more than 200 species of birds. And with over 30 types of coral reefs, the surrounding waters are a snorkeling paradise.” When asked how important it is to protect these national treasures, Park Ranger Michael Wydish said, “I can’t think of anything that’s more important here in the United States…There’s very few pristine places like this left, and I like to call this place the ‘crown jewel’ of the National Park Service.”

Learn more about Biscayne here and Dry Tortugas here via the National Park Service.

The Everglades

The TODAY explorers then took to the Everglades, which was established as a national park in 1947 to protect the wildlife habitat. “The Everglades National Park spans across 1.5 million acres, and is home to hundreds of species of plants – more than 60 of which are endangered,” explained Morales. “Visitors can enjoy activities like hiking, canoeing, biking, camping, tram and boat tours.” Fun fact: The Everglades is the only place on the planet where crocodiles and alligators coexist due to the presence of both freshwater and saltwater!

Learn more about visiting Everglades National Park here.

White Sands National Monument

The TODAY Show broadcast live from White Sands National Monument on Tuesday, where Matt Lauer and Al Roker explored “one of the most unusual and stunning places on Earth.” Located about an hour and a half away from El Paso, TX, this national park first appears as an optical illusion – what looks like snow in the middle of the New Mexico desert is actual 285,000 square miles of cool, white sand.

“An ocean of rippling white waves; a naturally blank canvas, reflecting a range of dazzling colors,” described Lauer. “White Sands National Monument is the largest gypsum dune field in the world. Gypsum particles, the same material used in plaster and drywall, sparkle like diamonds here.” Since the shifting sand dunes are constantly in motion, red desert markers help guide the half a million visitors that flock to White Sands National monument every year.

Discover more about White Sands here.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

With 118 caves below the desert surface and 180 miles of known passageways, New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park is still being explored and discovered. Roker took TODAY viewers inside the home of the largest cave chamber in the country, where “moisture, minerals, and time have turned droplets of water into works of art.” Half a million tourists visit the impressive cave formations annually, exploring Carlsbad Caverns’ stalagmites, stalactites and helictites formed by nature over hundreds of thousands of years.

Learn more about the place Roker described as “a cave worth the climb, a park worth the trip.”

Alcatraz Island

On Thursday, Roker traveled to the infamous Alcatraz Island, where some of the country’s most notorious criminals were once locked away from 1934-1963. Since opening in 1973 as a national park, Alcatraz has attracted more than a million tourists each year, who visit to learn about the island’s mysterious history and its bird sanctuary, now home to more than 10,000 seabirds.

Find out how you can explore the mysteries of Alcatraz Island here.

Sequoia National Park

Roker and his daughter Leila took in the wonder of Sequoia National Park, which is called “The Land of the Giants” because of its towering sequoia trees. The park is home to General Sherman, the largest tree in the world – and still growing at 2,000 years old.

Plan your visit beneath the trees of Sequoia National Park here.

Acadia National Park

For the final stop of the “100 Years of National Parks TODAY” series, Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones visited Acadia National Park, spanning nearly 50,000 acres of breathtaking natural beauty. “This is the first spot in the country where the sun hits the horizon,” said Dreyer. “At over 1,500 feet, Cadillac Mountain is the highest peak on the Eastern Seaboard, boasting sunrises worth getting up for.”

Experience the wonder of Acadia National Park here.

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Earth Week 2016: Dream It. Green It.

This Earth Week, Green is Universal imagined a greener future through our “Dream It. Green It.” campaign. Throughout the week, we shared tips and ideas for green living, technology, spaces, and community. Our #DreamItGreenItSweepstakes on Twitter and Instagram offered daily eco-friendly prizes from sustainable brands for supporters who engaged with our campaign online.

On Monday, we shared ways to live greener by living smaller, highlighting innovative tiny homes that help the environment because they require fewer resources and less energy usage. Fans showed us how they were living greener for a chance to win WeMo Insights, smart switches that allow you to turn off devices remotely and receive energy usage information via Wi-Fi, as well as a sustainably-designed Soma water pitcher.

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For Tuesday’s topic, green technology, we envisioned how innovation and conservation can blend to reduce our environmental footprint through motion sensor lighting and smart heating and cooling. The day’s theme was exemplified in its prize of the day: a GoSun Sport, an outdoor stove that revolutionizes fuel-free cooking.

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We celebrated green spaces on Wednesday, emphasizing how trees and plants can have a direct positive impact not just on the environment, but also in our daily lives. What better way to celebrate the great outdoors than through our sweeps prizes, a succulent garden frame from Vivaterra and an annual National Parks Pass?

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Dreaming a greener future is more fun when doing so together, which is why we highlighted green communities on Thursday. Traveling green and shopping green are just two ways we can work together to preserve and protect our natural resources. Modern farmer’s markets digitally and physically connect customers with local food sources, while land-sharing encourages travelers to experience the beautiful outdoors while helping landowners sustain their property. Green is Universal supporters used our sweepstakes to share how they are working together toward a greener future for a chance to “unlock the outdoors” with a gift card from Hipcamp, a startup aiming to help connect people passionate about exploring and protecting America’s lands.

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On Earth Day, Green is Universal asked what our supporters dream for a greener future. Our Friday sweepstakes prizes, a bamboo HERObike and Giro helmet, complete with lining made from plant biomass, showcase how we can create everyday items with sustainable materials.

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Throughout the week, social media responses came in via our #DreamItGreenItSweepstakes hashtag, and we received some great ideas and pledges to create a greener future:

I grow vegetables in my garden! #DreamItGreenItSweepstakes @greenisuniversal

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I want preserve our beach & protect our wildlife by keeping our beaches clean #DreamItGreenItSweepstakes

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NBCUniversal brands and their talent also participated in Dream It. Green It. fun! Throughout the week, they shared their commitments to a greener future.

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Although Earth Week 2016 is over, our commitment to creating a more sustainable world is not – Green is Universal is continuously working to integrate eco-friendly practices into our work, from incorporating sustainability into our theme parks to following sustainable production guidelines while creating film and television. Follow Green is Universal on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on what we’re doing to turn our dreams for a greener future into a reality.

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