Environmental exclusive: Do your part

Since the start of restrictions related to COVID-19, global carbon dioxide emissions have decreased due to heightened teleworking capabilities and a reduction in travel, which means lower emissions from fossil fuel ignition.

Carbon dioxide gas is colorless and odorless at low concentrations. Vehicles, power plants, aircraft and industrial factories emit carbon dioxide.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation was the leading cause of carbon dioxide emissions in 2018. This includes the movement of merchandise, cargo and people by utilizing gasoline, diesel and kerosene fuels. Ground transportation accounts for 72 percent of all transportation emissions while global aviation accounts for 11 percent.

Ramstein Air Base continuously works to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Environmental exclusive is a series designed to educate members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community on how individual choices impact the Earth. Simple changes can lead to cost savings, comply with Germany’s environmental standards and promote a more sustainable way of living. 

“Ramstein has purchased fuel-efficient vehicles and aircraft, and we have installed efficient heating systems,” said Rudiger Schmitt, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron air quality manager.

There are various ways individuals can reduce carbon dioxide, including walking or riding bikes. These activities are good for the Earth and have positive benefits on an individual’s cardiovascular health.

Additional ways to mitigate the negative effects of carbon dioxide are to eliminate or reduce the usage of items that produce carbon dioxide, Schmitt said. It is as easy as lowering heat usage in rooms, optimizing ventilation, carpooling, not allowing a vehicle to idle, driving fuel-efficient vehicles and riding a bike when possible.

Each individual’s transportation choices affect the environment. Less carbon dioxide equals an increased amount of fresher, cleaner air.

“Reducing carbon dioxide emissions helps to sustain the environment by creating healthier air,” Schmitt said.

Ramstein provides bike racks throughout the base, and the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron provides an on-base shuttle service between Ramstein Air Base and Kapaun Air Station for service members, Department of Defense civilians, dependents and local nationals to assist with the reduction of emissions. The shuttle service runs Monday through Friday, 6:20 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except on holidays, 86th Airlift Wing goal days and United States Air Forces in Europe family days. For more information on the shuttle, call 06371-47-5961.