US Military Seeks the "Zero Carbon" Camp
Photo via GDB
Offering further proof that the best design is sustainable, the US military's latest pursuit has little to do with weapons or basic training--it's creating a "zero carbon" camp. But it's not necessarily because of any desire to curb emissions or to protect the environment--it's to make military operations more efficient. According to a report in Climate Wire, "The ultimate goal is a "zero footprint" camp that would leave no waste behind and would reduce water and fuel coming in." And like I said, the point isn't to keep rivers clean or to protect the populations of endangered species. It's because it using less waste and conserving more energy simply makes sense from a tactical perspective:
The motivation is simple and increasingly urgent. The long logistics "tail" that follows troops into the war zone -- moving fuel, water and supplies in and waste out -- risks lives and diverts major resources from fighting, Department of Defense (DOD) officials sayAnd it's been a long time coming--simple measures like insulating bases to conserve energy have taken years to seep into the military's conciousness. Now that they have, it's saving the DOD millions of dollars a year.
Slowly seeing this reality, the military has deployed simple measures first. The Army, for example, recently spent $95 million spraying tents in Iraq with foam insulation, slashing air conditioning demands nearly in half and eliminating an estimated 12 fuel convoys a day.Obama's stimulus, which allotted a couple hundred million dollars to make the military more efficient, has helped the cause a great deal.
As for that zro carbon camp:
That's where the garbage comes in. A good deal of the fuel used at forward operating bases goes toward powering electric generators. Meanwhile, every soldier produces an average of 7 pounds of waste daily. Taylor's firm estimates that a zero footprint camp could supply up to a third of its own fuel needs by reusing waste.It's one of the more unexpected instances of efficiency making a difference--it's not every day you consider that going green makes for better military operations.