By Mr. Karl Weisel (IMCOM)April 8, 2014
WIESBADEN, Germany - They're sprouting like three-leaf clovers all over Wiesbaden's Clay Kaserne.
As more and more units and organizations commit to saving energy and resources through the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's Greet Boot initiative, ever more Green Boot Certificate signs are appearing out front of those very same military and civilian agencies.
"This is something unit commanders can take pride in," said Special Agent James Rickards of the 481st Military Police Detachment (Criminal Investigation Division). "Any unit out there with a good NCO (noncommissioned officer) can take the reins and start the process."
That process involves contacting the Environmental Office for information on the Green Boot Program, getting and refining the checklist, and then taking the steps to meet the Green Boot standards -- all of which are aimed at saving valuable resources, Army dollars, being good neighbors to the host nation and ensuring a brighter future for the next generation.
"Maj. (William) McGlothlin (operations officer for USAG Wiesbaden's Directorate of Public Works) was really helpful," said Staff Sgt. Jay Buckley of the 481st MP Detachment, one of the latest units to be recognized for its efforts. "You just have to ask for help. Once you get going, just keep going and get it done."
"Units should have a senior point of contact to be the liaison in a unit to facilitate the process," said McGlothlin, adding that by participating, units help teach new Soldiers to Europe to quickly join the recycling and energy-saving effort. "We're also reaching out to young people -- to encourage them to make recycling a regular part of their family life at home."
Besides going through the checklist and beefing up the unit's recycling efforts, Buckley said members of his unit have saved energy by making biking to work a regular feature and dedicated a Sunday to working on the grounds (clearing weeds) around the CID offices and Postal Service Center.
"We've recycled anything we could," Buckley said, explaining that recycling bins once used in a now-closed Bamberg CID office found a new home in Wiesbaden. "Anything else we've needed we checked the Re-Use Center on Clay Kaserne first. Our agents have also taken the initiative to bike in to work and do more recycling at home."
"We needed to procure recycling containers because we didn't have any," said Rickards, adding that by obtaining them another closing CID office they helped save money that can be used for other Army needs.
Col. David Carstens, USAG Wiesbaden commander, presented Green Boot Certificates to Lt. Col. Michael Hughes, Wiesbaden Health Clinic commander, and Rickards on March 24.
"The fact that such a small office has achieved Green Boot status is fantastic," said Carstens, praising the Wiesbaden CID members for helping "give back" to the Army and the community.
The clinic, which was undergoing a national accreditation survey, used the Greet Boot Program to step up their environmental involvement, said Capt. Thomas Tucker, clinic executive officer. "This program helped us tighten up our environmental standards," he said, pointing out that both the survey and Green Boot initiative encouraged a closer look at patient safety, recycling and efforts to reduce energy costs.
"This validated a lot of things we were already doing," Tucker said, "such as how we as a clinic exercise good conservation. It helped bring structure to our energy conservation efforts."
Carpooling, installation of bike racks and making recycling easier were all part of the drive. This included "getting people more in the habit of recycling through staff education and making the bins more accessible," said Sgt. Phillip Curiel, the clinic's Green Boot facilitator. Placing recycling bins in high traffic areas was one way of getting everyone to do his or her part, he said.
"I'm very proud of you and all the work that goes into this," said Carstens while presenting the clinic's Green Boot Certificate. "You're sending a message to the community and the people who come into this facility. What you are doing isn't only good for the Earth, it's good for the Army and this community."
For more information on the Green Boot Program contact Maj. McGlothlin at mil 337-5840 or by email at William.firstname.lastname@example.org.