USS NITZE, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze's (DDG 94) Supply department are doing their part to improve energy efficiency while underway during the ship's current deployment.
Supply department is leading the battle for energy efficiency while operating at sea.
Every day, Sailors on board use some form of paper product. From toilet paper to printer paper, the most commonly used products on the ship are also the most environmentally friendly.
"All of our consumable paper products are made from recycled materials," said Lt. Cmdr. Colin Engels, Nitze's supply officer. "We become very conscious of what we are purchasing for work centers, to ensure that we don't have any products going to waste."
Additionally, Nitze is cutting down on waste by changing its galley procedures.
"In the past, we received the vast majority of our products pre-made," said Chief Culinary Specialist Doug Grimley. "But we recognized that by preparing most of our food from scratch, we are not only able to provide better tasting meals, but dramatically cut down on the amount of waste we are producing."
Now, instead of getting pre-made food, which requires a large amount of packaging, Nitze is receiving ingredients necessary to prepare food.
"Chicken, for instance, used to come in different packages. There was one package for fried chicken, one for baked chicken and one for rotisserie chicken," said Grimley. "Now, we can order whole chickens and prepare each kind ourselves."
"Preparing food from scratch decreases waste due to the reduction in discarded packaging, which is usually plastic," said Engels. "We are going to a better system of preparing food by hand. We end up with reduced waste and the culinary specialists also develop a much broader set of skills. It is a win-win situation."
In addition to the crew's commitment to decrease waste production, the Supply department is cognizant of the cleaning products being used on the ship.
"The vast majority of our cleaning products are biodegradable and manufactured to be safe for the environment," said Engels. "Our Sailors have to use a little bit more 'elbow grease,' but that is a small price to pay for the benefit we are getting out of using these products."
For Nitze, these are small steps in the grand scheme of becoming a more environmentally friendly ship.
"It is time to start looking at what we can do in the near future to reduce our carbon footprint," said Grimley. "Next, we need to start looking at more energy efficient appliances and refrigerators."
"We are doing all of the right things," said Engels. "The crew has the right mindset and we are eager to continue setting the pace on the waterfront."
Nitze is currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and supporting missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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