Atsugi energy fair shows how conservation can be cool
There were tires made from corn, a block of squashed cans and free hamburgers cooked up by Seabees.
Naval Air Facility Atsugi on Thursday welcomed the public into Halsey Gym to learn ways to reduce, reuse and recycle during the third annual Energy Fair.
As part of Energy Conservation Week, base officials brought together several commands and off-base companies to show residents ways to save energy.
“The purpose is to bring awareness of the importance of conserving energy and costs,” said Lt. j.g. Phillip Hamrock, public works shops engineer. “We’re trying to do our part to save energy.”
The fair demonstrates what the base itself is doing to save energy and gives Americans and Japanese nationals who work on base ideas for saving energy at home.
Local vendors displayed low- flow shower heads, auto-flush toilets, reflective coating for windows and other tools to keep homes cooler in summer, warmer in winter, and using fewer resources overall.
“I like the Barier soccer ball house [a transportable shelter],” said Chief Petty Officer Eric Jovellanos, from public works. “I think it’s a good, innovative idea for military and civilian purposes that could save lives and be good for camping, too.”
Chief Petty Officer Allejandro Bautista said the fair is an annual tradition: “I like to come and check out the new products. We try to make a tradition of coming here.”
The displays included a recycling program by Tokyo Electric Power that converts old telephone poles into dishware. Other companies showed off energy-saving appliances and reflective paints designed to reduce glare, keeping rooms cooler.
The fair is part of the base’s effort to comply with a Department of Defense plan to cut energy consumption by 2 percent a year for the next decade, Hamrock said.
The booths included 12 off-base vendors — including Goodyear, which brought tires made from natural rubber and corn — and the base’s utilities department, part of Naval Facilities Far East; recycle center; and Public Works Environmental Division.
Publics Works Seabees grilled up hamburgers provided by Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and a representative from Tokyo Gas cooked sweet potatoes, Hamrock said.
At the schools this week, base representatives taught kids about energy and the need to conserve it and sponsored a poster contest, Hamrock said. “We’re trying to teach them that we have a finite number of resources.”
Shirley Lanham Elementary School third-grade teacher Christa Ortman said the lessons augment what she teaches.
“We’re studying energy, so this works out perfect for the curriculum,” she said.
Third-grader Mia Wilson said the fair was fun, too: “I pretty much like everything, but I really like the solar power exhibit.”
Stars and Stripes photographer Christopher B. Stoltz contributed to this story.