Lejeune focuses on energy awareness in October

18 Oct 2010 | Lance Cpl. Damany S. Coleman

Nearly every home, business or school around the world requires some sort of energy to function, but not everyone makes the best decisions on how to use the energy appropriately.

Energy conservation is achieved through efficient energy use, in which energy is decreased while achieving a similar outcome, or by reduced consumption of energy services.

This is also true for personnel aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, where energy efficiency is becoming more prominent with awareness, during October, which has been deemed Energy Awareness month.

The Federal Government first set aside time to raise energy awareness in 1981 with American Energy Week, which was observed from 1981 through 1985. It became a month-long observance at the U.S. Department of Energy in 1986.

On September 13, 1991, President George Bush proclaimed October as Energy Awareness Month. Since then, DOE has been conducting energy awareness campaigns each year to promote the wise and efficient use of our nation's energy.

“(Energy) is important because it’s a broad issue that solves a lot of problems,” said Kyle Brown, energy manager with the Public Works Division aboard the base. “We have a lot of mandates from congress to increase energy efficiency as well as it’s a natural security issue, like oil and where we get it from. It needs a lot of attention.”

In 2009, President Barack Obama reiterated the importance of Energy Awareness Month to shine new light on energy awareness activities.

Obama said, “During National Energy Awareness Month, we recognize the contributions of individuals, organizations and companies that are committed to advancing energy innovation and efficiency, and we promote the importance of a clean energy economy to our nation.”

Obama added that the nation can benefit from the wise use of energy at federal facilities. As the nation's largest energy consumer, the Federal government has a tremendous opportunity and acknowledged responsibility to lead by example.

Brown also said that with the growing need for energy, the costs of energy will increase as well.

“This then hurts our prosperity and economy, due to the fact that money from our energy purchases may end up in countries that view us negatively,” said Brown. “That in turn may result in boosts of hostility and terrorism, as well as global warming. Energy efficiency and clean energy can help solve all these problems for us,” said Brown. “We all have to contribute together, equally.  No individual alone can solve the energy crisis.”

For the service members aboard the base, here are a few energy conservation and efficiency measures to use at work and lead by example with smart energy choices:

- Always use Compact Fluorescent Lights in desk lamps as opposed to incandescent lights.
- Switch off all unnecessary lights.
- Use natural lighting when possible.
- When working late, use task lighting to directly illuminate work areas.
- Unplug equipment that drains energy even when not in use (i.e. cell-phone chargers, fans, coffeemakers, desktop printers, radios, etc.)
- If possible, turn off your office equipment and or computer monitors at the end of the work day.
- Use efficient ENERGY STAR® products.
- Close or tilt window blinds to block direct sunlight to reduce cooling needs during warm months.
- Photocopy only what you need.
- Always use the second side of paper, either by printing on both sides or using the blank side as scrap paper.
- Carpool, bike, or use mass transit when commuting to work.
- To save gas: drive the speed limit, accelerate and decelerate slower, and make sure tires are pumped up.
- Use durable coffee mugs instead of disposable cups.

“It’s a difficult subject for people to grasp,” said Brown. “Not everyone takes time to think ‘where does this energy or oil comes from, what kind of problems it causes or what is it doing to our environment.’ A lot of issues can be solved by energy awareness.”