VICENZA, Italy -- In an effort to conserve energy and minimize impact on the environment, U.S. Army Garrison Italy has implemented the Green Boot Program here.

Green Boot, which originated at Fort Bragg, N.C., requires that units or organizations achieve energy, water, recycling and transportation goals. It promotes sustainability by "certifying" those units once certain criteria is met. It also encourages innovation --because good ideas can come from anywhere.

The program sets a positive example for staff, service members, family members, and the USAG Italy community as a whole. By assuming a leadership and stewardship role, Green Boots will:
Promote recycling and reduce solid waste disposal.
Practice energy and water conservation measures.
Purchase products that are less harmful to human health and the environment.
Help improve water quality in creeks, rivers and lakes of a community.
Help improve indoor and outdoor air quality.
Educate personnel, service members, family members and other installation agencies about green business practices.

The 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion was the first unit in Vicenza to participate in the program and, therefore, have become the program's lead, with a second organization already waiting to begin the certification process. To become certified, there is a checklist to follow and an assessment.

In order to help 54th BEB lead the way as the initial test case, the Directorate of Public Works provided the unit with recycling bins to see how well they can improve their recycling performance. Yes, their "before" trash bags were sampled.

Remember, anyone can be "green" by practicing good energy and water habits, recycling and reducing vehicle use. And, if you see energy waste or a need for repair, please call the DPW service order desk, DSN 637-8100.