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Lance Cpl. Bryan Bonham, a member of recycling personnel with the Recycling Center and a Pittsburgh native, throws cardboard into a compactor at the recycling center aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., May 23. As part of the 101 Days of Conservation and Awareness, all forms of resources, new and used will be collected and either re-used or repurposed for the installation. If the items cannot be re-used or repurposed, they will be recycled.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns

Dialing back the utility bill: air station educates Marines on conservation

23 May 2013 | Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns

Memorial Day will mark the beginning of an ongoing, station-wide initiative to educate Marines, sailors, civilians and families about conserving resources aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., May 27.
 
Every dollar made by cutting back on wasteful consumption of resources goes back into the missions squadrons perform aboard the air station.
 
Col. John Farnam, MCAS Miramar commanding officer, has adopted a more aggressive stance with conserving resources aboard his installation.
 
“Being a member of the San Diego community, it’s very important for us to manage our (resources),” said Farnam. “There’s really two pieces to conservation: the hardware we buy to help make us more efficient, then there’s the education we provide, which is what (the 101 Days of Conservation and Awareness) is aimed at. It’s really people’s behavior that will make the biggest difference for us, so we need to change our habits when it comes to power and water. We can really make a difference for the air station.”
 
Farnam has a team of specialists working to help distribute this education to the installation.

Among them are Mick Wasco, the energy program manager for the air station, and Emilio Rovira, the installation planner for sustainability and energy, who have ideas of how to make Marines less conservative about conserving energy.
 
“We always think energy when we think of conservation,” said Rovira. “What conservation really means is conserving energy, water, fuel and recycling as well. The goal of the program is to bring 45 buildings to light, putting posters out with monthly themes on how to conserve a specific resource and have them compete to see who has the best score at the end of the trial period.”
 
To help with the scoring process, an Energy Star portfolio manager from the Environmental Protection Agency will read the meters and check which building is most efficient with their resources.
 
Turning off lights, computers, reducing water consumption and having an overall awareness of the resources used is the kind of end result that will keep the installation heading the proper direction, explained Rovira.
 
“Every penny we save while taking charge of this conservation effort goes back to the mission,” said Rovira. “The more money we save the installation, the more money that comes back to us in various ways, and it’s all for the better.”
 
As Marines, sailors, family members and those who work for the base, it is everyone’s responsibility to take charge and aid in the conservation of resources aboard the installation – the 101 Days of Conservation and Awareness begins.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing