By MC3 Johans Chavarro Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii
Service members, families and friends celebrated the annual environmental protection event, Earth Day, with a weekend of recreational activities at the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange (NEX) and Hickam Harbor on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) held April 18 and 19.
The celebration began on April 18 with the Pearl Harbor NEX Earth Day Expo, Partnering for a Greener Future,” which featured eco-friendly demonstrations, informational booths staffed by various local environmental agencies and conservation groups, and included Earth Day children’s games.
Among those present were representatives from Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor (FLCPH), who spoke on the importance of having events like these to teach patrons about environmental initiatives like energy saving and responsible water usage.
“As NAVSUP FLCPH, we do a lot of outreach efforts but also bring initiatives internally such as water conservation, energy savings, and other facets that keep environmental awareness in focus for us as a command,“ said Lt. Cmdr. Angela Watson, fuel and facilities director for NAVSUP FLCPH.
“However, it’s important to have days like this to make sure the environment is not something that is forgotten about in the community and, these sort of events serve to trigger somebody onto a new way of doing things,” she said.
“I’ve had several folks comment on never having thought about replacing their light bulbs with something a little more efficient, like the LED (light-emitting diode) lights we have on display here.
Events like this bring folks together and helps spark those ideas to make environment conservation part of their day-today routine,” Watson said.
Also in attendance was the JBPHH Energy team, which showcased several common appliances individuals can use to aid in their energy conservation efforts.
“We’re trying to show the sort of general run of the mill type of appliances people can get, in a way that people can relate to,” said Jonathan Sakomoto, acting JBPHH Energy Team energy director.
“We’re showing timers for showers and also low-flow shower heads, which everyone knows about, but is the kind of common things that are applicable to most people.
We also have on display a device that shows the differences between the uses of an incandescent bulb and an LED bulb.”
“We’ve found that having these visual aids help people understand how much energy they actually use, and that’s what’s most important here, to teach and instill change through understanding,” Sakomoto said.
The environmental awareness events continued through the weekend at Hickam Harbor where Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam’s Morale, Welfare & Recreation’s (MWR) Outdoor Recreation program hosted a free event.
It featured various eco-friendly activities like sailing rides, harbor tours, bounce houses and tide and touch pools for patrons and children as well as information booths that stressed safety and environmental conservation. The event taught patrons about the environment and how to protect it, but also showcased events offered by MWR.
The Earth Day celebration continued with a NAVSUP FLCPH Earth Day Fair on April 22 at Kilo 8 Pier. The event featured environmental displays, the oil spill recovery vessel (OSRV) Clean Islands, alternative fuel vehicles and more.
Earth Day is an annual event, officially celebrated on April 22. Events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970 and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.