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I thought I would take the opportunity to review some of one green aspects of the US Military. I have written about the important role of the military in sustainability efforts before here and here. But it is worth noting that the US Military is one of the leading institutions involved with environmental management and sustainability. There are some obvious reasons why they would be involved so deeply in the field: they are the largest energy user in the nation and they are responsible for managing many large tracts of land. However, environmental issues are deeply integrated into most military operations.
Over the years, many of my students have worked in the environmental field for the military either as a consultant or as an employee. Take a look at this Website of the Environmental Management Office for the Marines at Camp Lejeune.
This text, quoted directly from the site, reviews their main mission:
• Uphold the Constitution and obey the Nation's laws. Complying with environmental laws is part of that duty.
• Protect the natural and cultural resources entrusted to MCIEAST-MCB CAMLEJ. The public's trust is precious and must not be violated.
• Implement pollution prevention initiatives, waste diversion, recycling, and waste minimization programs. Pollution prevention efforts will promote the use of products and processes that minimize exposure to hazardous materials.
• Assess and remediate contaminated sites aboard the Base that are the result of past disposal practices, and spills and leaks of hazardous materials and waste. MCIEAST-MCB CAMLEJ encourages public participation, facilitates cooperation, and exchanges information with parties of the investigation and remed iation process.
• Implement energy efficiency and water conservation management projects. We will reduce facility lifecycle environmental and energy costs through improving energy efficiency, utilizing renewable energy, and conserving water in new construction and maj or building renovation.
• Procure sustainable products, including bio-based, environmentally preferable, energy efficient, waterefficient, and recycled content products.
• Collaborate with local communities and regulatory agencies to enhance stewardship of the environment, create goodwill, and build trust.
• Educate our Marines, Sailors, and civilian Marines about their responsibility to protect our natural environment, stressing the important role each individual plays in an effective environmental management system.
It's an impressive list of activities and it shows the diversity of issues that fall within the mission of the environmental office of the marines that makes them always faithful to protect the environment.