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October 16, 2013
By Lance Cpl. Benjamin Pryer

IWAKUNI, Japan - Since the dawn of the world, mankind has searched for a way to improve personal quality of life. From making fire, to finding something more comfy to sleep on than rocks, the basic human instinct to thrive pushed civilizations through the millennia, making new discoveries with every passing year.

Now, what is it that drives those pursuits? To put it simply; the answer is electricity and utilities.

Fast forward to the year 2013 and navigate the globe to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, where a community flourishes like many others. Without utilities though, life as station residents know it would come to a standstill.

“If station residents don’t conserve energy, family housing will have to spend more of its funds on paying utility bills, which may result in fewer services offered to residents, such as the purchase of new appliances, access to community rooms and loaner furniture, or self-help tools and equipment,” said Kirby Franklin, station housing director. “Family housing does not receive anyone's housing allowance. Every dollar saved by conserving is a dollar that can be used for something else within family housing.”