Earth Day at the 138th Fighter Wing

  • Published
  • By Mr. Rickey Howard
  • 138th FW/EMO
Each year Air Force installations around the world observe Earth Day on April 22 by taking actions to support the Air Force's Earth Day theme of "Conserve Today - Secure Tomorrow." This year, Air Force activities will focus on sustainability, referring to the capacity to continue the mission without compromise and operate into the future without decline - either in the mission, or the natural and man-made systems that support it. Sustainability includes, to a large degree, sustainable installations and is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials and resources to protect human health and our environment. While the Air Force's commitment to sustainable and energy-efficient facilities is not new -- the first policy to "apply sustainable development concepts" to facilities and infrastructure projects dates back to 2001 -- the Air Force issued guidance in June 2011 building on the Air Force's vision for sustainable installations where new vertical and major renovations fully incorporate federal requirements for high-performance and sustainable buildings. This includes achieving a minimum of 20 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, points dedicated toward energy efficiency and water conservation.
Every Airman must protect and conserve these natural resources for the benefit of present and future mission requirements, and for the benefit of present and future generations.

What we do today, has an effect - what we do today sustains our future. We want to leave a lasting legacy without leaving a lasting footprint.

Natural resources are limited and we must use them wisely - everyone must be on the lookout for ways to reduce energy and water consumption and prevent waste in day-to-day operations.

· The average American produces about 1,600 pounds of garbage per year - Americans alone throw away enough aluminum in one year to duplicate the full commercial air fleet of the U.S.

· Americans use about 100 gallons of water per day. By replacing standard 4.5-gallon-per-minute showerheads with 2.5-gallon-per-minute heads, which cost less than $5 each, a family of four can save approximately 20,000 gallons of water per year.

· Over 90 percent of the roofs in the U.S. are dark-colored - lighter-colored "cool roofs" with high reflectance and emissivity can stay up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than traditional materials during peak summer weather.

This year at the 138th Fighter Wing our theme was "Break their stuff, then, Recycle it". Since 1 April 2013 we produced 205.39 tons of trash, of which 81.54 tons were recycled and 123.85 Tons were disposed in the landfill (about 40% recycled). The following is a list of items recycled:

7.99 tons of waste oil, fuel and absorbents sent to energy recovery
2.82 tons of batteries sent to recycling
34.48 tons of scrap metals recycled
19.21 tons of mixed paper recycled
14.09 tons of cardboard recycled
1.14 tons of Glass and Plastic Bottles recycled
1.01 tons of Pallets reused
0.49 tons of Printer Cartridges reused
0.31 tons of Aluminum Cans recycled

Some other important Environmental Initiatives:

· Purchase Event Recycling Containers for Base Users
· Increased Construction and Demolition Recycling
· Working towards Single Stream Recycling program
· Achieved Third Party Conformance of our Environmental Management System
· Highest ESOH
· Compliance Training Completion Statistics
· Outstanding Recycling Program ESOHCAMP finding
· Published Recycling Guide Posters

At this year's Earth Day event, Col Miller awarded SMSgt Strohmeyer, MSgt Parker, and SSgt Tumleson Environmental Coins for their part in the Tiger Team in preparation for the EESOH-Camp Inspection. These individuals continually stepped up to support the Wing's Environmental, Safety and occupational Health Efforts. It takes commitment from Airman like them to ensure our success. Our Wing's Environmental Excellence is due to all of the 138 FW Airmen pitching in to enhance our community outreach and environmental stewardship.