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How Las Vegas is Embracing Sustainability

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LAS VEGAS—Behind all the glitz and glamour, opulent displays and bright lights the Las Vegas Strip is well known to many people for its entertainment, its shopping malls and of course for its world-famous casino games with live dealers and fine dining.

What is probably less known by the majority of visitors is that many of the world-renowned buildings are holding their own when it comes to sustainability efforts—something that would surprise many preconceived ideas of “Sin City”.

Take water as a prime example of how hotels and casinos on the Strip conserve it in the drought-stricken region—some builds are incredibly efficient at using water with resort properties accounting for about 7 percent of water used throughout the Valley.

Water that is used indoors on the Strip is reclaimed then recycled and then returned back into Lake Mead making the Strip’s water impact on the region even smaller. This method of reclaiming and recycling then returning water is the case for water use across most of the Valley so of course it makes sense that the Strip also carries on the good work.

Casinos Consume Small Percentage of Region’s Water

In all, probably about 3 percent to 4 percent of all the water is consumed by the casinos—not a great amount when you consider that the casinos are the backbone of the local community, and most of the casinos enjoy a recycling rate of more than 40 percent which in comparison was 20 percent higher than Clark County in 2017.

One spokesperson (Jeremy Walters) who works for Republic Services which overseas recycling in Southern Nevada mentioned that MGM above all others and which operates the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and the Bellagio amongst other Strip properties has led the recycling efforts in the region. The MGM properties boast an extensive sustainability program.

Not only do these properties target the recovery of many recyclable materials but food waste is also targeted, a great achievement for properties that have been designed for comfort rather than for conservation.

With smart and minimal landscaping casinos on the Strip minimize water consumption although outdoor water accounts for the most water loss overall as it doesn’t get reclaimed—it is lost through evaporation or seeps into the ground.

Use of Native Plants

The lack of grassy lawns and the use of native plants is the resorts’ way of dealing with possible overuse of water.

Most water is used for the cooling systems that allow the casinos to remain comfortable for the punters and as the footprints of the hotels and casinos are massive and take a great deal of energy to recycle that water a lot of the properties have adopted their own ways to reduce the consumption of indoor water like installing low-flow showerheads and teaching employees how to conserve the water that is available.

With water conservation and the sending of food waste to an agricultural farm rather than sending it to a landfill as well as getting rid of all the plastic straws in the Wynn, Caesars and Sands casinos and some unused food ending up at the local food bank which collects and then freezes any leftovers, waste is minimized.

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