Seven billion reasons to reduce your energy footprint

The world’s population reached this milestone last October, according to an estimate by the United Nations Population Fund. With a growing global population and the earth’s limited resources, it’s no wonder that governments, corporations and households alike are looking for ways to save and be environmentally responsible.

Last year, the Army began its Net Zero Energy, Water and Waste pilot programs with the vision to appropriately manage its natural resources by creating net zero installations. 

Likewise, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart has been reducing our energy “bootprint” by investing in renewable solar energies and efficiencies such as LED lights.
However, technology alone will not reduce our imprint. Energy savings starts and ends with you, the user. 

How can you make an impact? For starters, here are seven green ways.
To lower the 11,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity used per year by an average home you can:
(1) Switch it off — Get into the habit of turning things off even if you plan on returning soon. 
(2) Unplug it — Electronic devices such as cell phone chargers still consume energy even when you are not operating or charging your devices.
To reduce the 400 gallons of water a day that is wasted by the average U.S. family of four you can:
(3) Reduce — When washing hands, pots or cars, use less water.
(4) Turn it off — Turn water off while brushing teeth and shaving. 
(5) Reuse — Water from boiling, soaking and washing produce can be used to water your household plants.
To eliminate the annual 1,616 pounds of waste per person that is unnecessarily sent to landfills you can:
(6) Sort it out — The garrison and your local communities do an excellent job of providing recycling opportunities; take advantage of them.
(7) Repurpose — The garrison Directorate of Logistics has a Reuse Center where household cleaners, paint, adhesives, lubricants and other products can be dropped off or picked up by all U.S. ID cardholders.
Remember, these actions also make a big impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse emissions.
So for Earth Day this year, take this opportunity to get back on track with better energy habits.
In the end, the seven billion reasons starts with each of us; let us grow strong and energy smart together.

The Reuse Center (Building 2956, Panzer Kaserne) is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 431-2498/civ. 07031-15-2498.
Look for more tips by reading the Going Green articles printed in each edition of The Citizen. Additional tips can also be found on the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy websites.