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October is national energy awareness month: ‘Build Green, Fly Blue’

By John F. McLaughlin, III 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron

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October is National Energy Awareness Month and this year's slogan is "Build Green, Fly Blue." The Air Force has made a commitment to leaner installations, cleaner sources and smarter decisions through October and beyond.

While energy should be a consideration in all we do here, October is the time to do more than just conserve energy; it is the time to inform everyone at Barksdale and Air Force Global Strike Command on what can be done to conserve energy on an individual level.

The Department of Defense has instructed the military to reduce its energy usage three percent per year since 2003 with a grand total of a 30 percent reduction by 2015. With an estimated 20 percent of energy used in the United States wasted, most of the opportunities to conserve energy are in the workspace.

Barksdale spent $7.6 million on utilities last year, 76 percent of which was electricity. Since it's the most expensive utility, electricity has the most opportunity for conservation. The best cost effective way to conserve electricity is by reducing the amount wasted.

Lighting awareness provides a cheap and effective way to reduce electric waste. Night lighting operating in the daytime and lighting in areas where windows and doors provide sufficient sunlight are ready examples of wasted energy.

Each individual should take initiative and turn off lights whenever they leave a room and encourage others to do the same. Remind people in the office that the last person to leave needs to turn out the lights. Establish nightly and weekend checklists for turning off unnecessary lighting.

There are every day opportunities to reduce wasted energy so everyone should be vigilant and reduce waste where it is found. Reducing energy use by being mindful of our work environment as well as using energy efficient equipment should always be a priority.