If you see something, sustain something

DSC_9014Commentary by Walter Christian Mattil
Director, USAG Ansbach Directorate of Public Works

As inhabitants of our planet, guests of our host nation and citizens of our garrison, we all own the responsibility of being good stewards of our environment.

We all know that most natural resources are finite, we all know that our government is under budgetary constraints, and we all SHOULD know that every natural resource we conserve equates to monetary savings to the taxpayers and to our garrison.

Imagine if every resident of U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach decided to reduce water consumption, electrical consumption and natural gas consumption by only 2 percent. Seriously, if EVERYONE took the small effort to just reduce their household and workplace consumption by only 2 percent, this would result in an overall savings to the taxpayer (you and me) and the garrison of over $343,907! That savings is based on the cost of utilities (electricity, water, heat, natural gas and sewer) for fiscal 2015, totaling $17,195,361!

The money saved goes directly back into the garrison to be reallocated to other projects that directly impact us community members. The bottom line is every dollar we save through conservation and sustainment is a dollar that can be put to use elsewhere — where it’s really needed.

So, how do we reduce consumption and sustain our finite resources and utility dollars? Here are some simple suggestions:

  • Turn each of the thermostats on your radiators down a half turn (from 4 to 3.5 or from 3 to 2.5).
  • Turn off lights and electronics when not in use.
  • Do not use space heaters or air conditioners in Army Family Housing or barracks (this is prohibited by garrison and Army policy anyway).
  • Take shorter showers, if possible.
  • Try to run your dishwasher and washing machine with full loads to reduce the frequency of use.

I understand that living on post (as I did several times in my career) insulates most of us from the costs associated with consumption. We don’t see it because we don’t receive a bill every month, but the Directorate of Public Works’ Utility Branch does get that bill every month … and the garrison’s Resource Management Office has to PAY that bill every month.

So, I’m asking … begging … imploring … that everyone just give us 2 percent! It’s a very small sacrifice that yields an enormous reward.

Thanks to all of you for your service and support to our nation.

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