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.