By Jennifer Thibault
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Each year, days are set aside to honor mothers and fathers, grandmas and grandpas, and each year April 22 is set aside to recognize Mother Earth.
As with years past, Schriever has much to celebrate on Earth Day as it is once again recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA Community for its commitment to urban forestry. This is the 13th year Schriever has earned this title.
In recognition of both Earth Day and Arbor Day, wing leadership continued its commitment to “doing today for tomorrow” by planting a tree at the Child Development Center.
“This is a celebration of what is going to be,” said Andy Schlosberg, assistant district forester, Colorado State Forrest Service.
Col. Wayne Monteith, 50th Space Wing commander, echoed Mr. Schlosberg’s sentiments.
“We’re trying to be good neighbors and good stewards of our environment,” he said.
Following the ceremony, Colonel Monteith joined the base’s environmental flight in giving out 65 reusable bags of goodies including a Douglas fir seedling to continue the Arbor Day/Earth Day tradition at home.
In addition to this effort, Schriever can celebrate its many green initiatives that are coming to fruition this year to include reducing the base’s irrigated property from 60 to 6 acres.
Another green project pressing full steam ahead is the overhaul of the central utility plant which provides emergency power in case there was a loss of commercial power. This project will reduce energy costs as the new generators are more fuel efficient than their 80’s era predecessors while providing 35 percent more power. In addition, project managers expect to recycle 100 tons of scrap metal from the dismantled generators.
This focus on reducing, reusing and recycling is not lost on the main dining option for the base.
The Satellite Dish estimates its patrons use approximately 637,000 plastic foam containers each month. On Earth Day, The Dish put all of the disposable containers, cups and utensils away. Instead, patrons were urged to use reusable containers for items that needed to be carried out of the facility. This is in addition to the previously approved use of personal drink containers, as long as they are clean and they do not touch the dispensing machine.
To help continue the effort beyond just Earth Day, the CE Environmental Flight teamed with the Satellite Dish and gave away 400 reusable containers, 600 cups and sporks. Schriever Outdoor Recreation also has added a reusable container for purchase.
“We put up a display to help everyone visualize how much [plastic foam] we are using each month,” said Karen Draper, chief, Sustainment Flight. “[Plastic foam] is toxic to the environment and expensive. In this time of tightening the budget, the Dish spends approximately $140K each year on [plastic foam]. We have teamed with CE to hopefully encourage people to think before they reach for the easy [plastic foam] cup or container.”
Schriever’s green efforts are also ongoing at the wing’s geographically separated units in Hawaii, New Boston and Greenland.
These efforts include cutting $50K a month in electricity usage, using ground-source heat pumps, installing energy efficient roofs and low energy lighting.
“At New Boston we have reduced our heating oil costs by 23 percent,” said Colonel Monteith. “We are also conducting a study for a 22.5 megawatt solar/wind farm for the base. These ongoing efforts will help us conserve today to secure tomorrow.”