Team BLAZE contributes to Earth Day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jake Jacobsen
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
The global event called Earth Day celebrated its 49th year on April 22 and continues to motivate people to help solve climate change, end plastic pollution, protect endangered species and to be educated on our impact on Earth.

Columbus Air Force Base is all about being ecofriendly and making sure that our mission to Cultivate Airmen, Produce Pilots, and Connect doesn’t compromise the environment. To help ensure this process goes as planned, members of Team BLAZE can turn to the 14th Civil Engineering Squadron for support.

“Our duty is to make sure all the natural resources here on base like trees, water, soil and gas are sustainable for the future and ensure there isn’t a loss significant enough to impact the mission here on Columbus AFB,” said Timothy Turner, 14th CES natural resources program manager.

Turner went on to say that all trees on base are considered commercial, so it is their duty to manage and maintain them for urban landscaping areas.

The 14th CES works hand in hand with the U.S. Forestry Service to make sure the trees are managed properly.

“We try to balance areas on the base to where we have recreational areas for the people, but still have enough habitat for wildlife,” Turner said. “It’s because we have a balance of the two that we can have outdoor activities like nature trails and biking areas where people can come into contact with nature”

Team BLAZE members contribute to helping the environment by using the base’s recycling program, operating hybrid vehicles, planting trees and picking up trash in the community.

The recycling center is one of the biggest way Columbus can help future generations have adequate space for all their waste needs. Their work stops landfills in Mississippi from filling up even faster than what they already are. Instead of throwing things in the trash, consider items such as paper, cardboard, glass, oil, wood including tree branches, electronics, batteries, plastics and all kinds of scrap metals can be tossed into a recycle bin or dropped off at the recycling center.

“On Columbus AFB, we are sending 54.8 percent of our trash to recycling and 45.2 percent goes to the land fill,” said Michael Blythe, 14th CES hazardous and solid waste qualified recycling program manager. “Our personal goal is to be at a 60 percent recycle rate by the year 2020.”

There are two 24-hour recycle drop off locations on Columbus AFB, one of which is out of service right now with the commissary parking lot being remodeled, but it will be put back in service once the work is finished. The functional one is located at the recycling center near Outdoor Recreation.

Earth Day may only be one day, but the 14th Flying Training Wing can help out the environment everyday by continuing these ecofriendly habits and reducing negative impacts on Earth.