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Earth Day a reminder to protect environment

Across the Air Force, installations are working to enhance sustainability in
support of Earth Day held annually April 22. To help emphasize the
importance of individual efforts, the Air Force launched the "Blue Acts of Green" Facebook campaign. During the campaign Airmen and their families are encouraged to perform environmentally friendly practices at home and work. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli/Released)

Across the Air Force, installations are working to enhance sustainability in support of Earth Day held annually April 22. To help emphasize the importance of individual efforts, the Air Force launched the "Blue Acts of Green" Facebook campaign. During the campaign Airmen and their families are encouraged to perform environmentally friendly practices at home and work. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli/Released)

Across the Air Force, installations are working to enhance sustainability in
support of Earth Day held annually April 22. To help emphasize the
importance of individual efforts, the Air Force launched the "Blue Acts of Green" Facebook campaign. During the campaign Airmen and their families are encouraged to perform environmentally friendly practices at home and work. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli/Released)

Across the Air Force, installations are working to enhance sustainability in support of Earth Day held annually April 22. To help emphasize the importance of individual efforts, the Air Force launched the "Blue Acts of Green" Facebook campaign. During the campaign Airmen and their families are encouraged to perform environmentally friendly practices at home and work. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli/Released)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Waste is an undeniable effect of daily living. From grocery bags and transportation to electricity and water waste, however, finding ways to decrease individual and unit waste can save money, time and resources.

Earth Day, observed April 20 this year, provides a reminder of why and how we can decrease waste in the Air Force and beyond.

Forty-two years ago, the concept of Earth Day held annually April 22 came about in an effort to highlight and inform the world on various environmental issues with the potential to impact the future of the planet. What started with approximately 20 million Americans rallying in support of environmentally-conscious programs and lifestyles has turned into nearly a billion people in 192 countries supporting the same endeavor, according to the Earth Day Network website.

Themed, "Conserve Today - Secure tomorrow," Earth Day reminds people of the various ways to conserve with waste, electricity, water, fuel and other valuable resources. With that theme, the Air Force launched a "Blue Acts of Green" Facebook page for Airmen and family members can share their green acts with the world.

The simplest of notions can turn into big energy savings. Such actions as turning off lights when leaving the room, watering grass and flowers during the coolest parts of the day, putting groceries in reusable bags, or walking to work may seem like they wouldn't have a big impact on the environment. But such small acts, performed by numerous people, can actually make a huge impact.

In an Earth Day 2012 memorandum from the Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy, the leaders professed Earth Day as an opportunity to focus on the Air Force's Pollution Prevention program, "which overarches our efforts to recycle, minimize waste, encourage green products, use fewer toxic materials, and decrease our overall consumption of natural resources, thereby helping us to save money and reduce risk."

The Air Force leadership encouraged all Airmen to support P2 and commit to additional environmental endeavors.

Through April 27, people can visit the Facebook site at www.facebook.com/blueactsofgreen to enter their "green" act. Officials will monitor inputs that can be put into practice within the Air Force.

Visit the Air Force Earth Day website at www.af.mil/earthday.asp or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website at www.epa.gov for information, tips and resources to make your home, unit or installation a little greener.