By pursuing environmentally sound initiatives, NASA can reduce mission risk and continue achieving ever greater objectives for mankind. Initiatives such as waste diversion and the purchase of recycled-content, biobased content and other environmentally preferable products demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship. NASA’s Principal Center for Recycling and Sustainable Acquisition (RSA) was established in 1998 and provides technical resources and program support for NASA Headquarters Environmental Management Division.
Mid-Atlantic Region - Overall Achievement and Water
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA.
The NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) strategically incorporates sustainable solutions as part of its Master Plan to achieve future mission goals while protecting its coastal ecosystem. Its neighbors include more than million people who live, work, and play within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. LaRC's quality stormwater pollution prevention program efforts have served as a model for other federal agencies, as well as neighbors in the watershed and beyond. LaRC staff have integrated sustainability as a guiding principle in their future development, including reducing impervious surfaces, building high-performance green buildings, upgrading infrastructure, implementing water conservation measures, and identifying long-term plans for reducing pollutants.
Over the last year, NASA LaRC experienced a 37 percent increase in green infrastructure square footage, including low impact development (LID) features around the new Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility, which is U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver Certified, and it is the third new LEED facility opened on LaRC since 2011. New LID features included three bio-retention cells and two compost amended grass channels. To prevent future stormwater pollution to the Chesapeake Bay watershed and foster environmental stewardship, employee volunteers planted over 1,000 tree seedlings (hardwood mix) over two acres (adjacent to local waterways) during Earth Day and Arbor Day events. Additionally, a total of 11,800 sedum plugs were added to a 9,600-square foot green roof to assist in sedum establishment and to improve green roof performance.
Through LaRC's strategic water conservation program, the Center has realized a total potable water consumption decrease of 20 percent since 2011. Additionally, LaRC also conserved potable water through improving steam plant operations and infrastructure, resulting in an industrial water consumption decrease by 36 percent.
Founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson, the first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970. The idea to focus on the environment was supported by 20 million Americans who took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. This event was soon followed with the passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and other environmental laws. Earth Day has since grown to be the largest civic-focused day of action in the world with more than 1 billion people in 192 countries participating.America Recycles Day was started in 1997 by the National Recycling Coalition and is declared each year, by Presidential Proclamation, encouraging Americans to commit to recycling. Since 2009, this day has been a program of Keep America Beautiful. There are thousands of events that are held across the United States to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and offering personal pledges that can be signed, committing to recycling and buying products made from recycled materials.
Recycle, buy recycled goods and help teach others the benefits of recycling and continue to do so each day!