Practice Greenhealth Members Celebrate Earth Day 2016

By Practice Greenhealth Staff on July 28, 2016

woman picking carrotsAlthough Practice Greenhealth members work to make Earth Day every day, when the annual national celebration rolls around (April 22), many pull out all the stops. For some facilities, Earth Day was a chance to build upon the success of previous years. For others, new events, activities and educational opportunities “cropped up.”

Of the 20 facilities that reported back and shared information about their activities, some themes emerged. Electronic takeback events occurred at three different facilities while recycling of other items, like office supplies, prescriptions and sharps occurred at three others. It wasn’t all about recycling though. Reusing also was a theme at many of the Earth Day events. Some health care facilities hosted swap-events, everything from bicycles to the aforementioned office supplies made the list.

Going green by growing green was the theme for half a dozen participating facilities. Giveaways of seedlings—both plant and tree—occurred, and literature was provided on the proper care and feeding of those seedlings. One hospital held a grand
reopening of its rooftop garden, while another worked to double the size of its garden that is used to supply patients with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Farmers markets were held by a handful of hospitals as well. Local farmers, renewable energy companies and mass transit organizations also participated in question and answer sessions.

At least two facilities paired a healthier Earth with a healthier staff, by promoting a “take the stairs” initiative. For one event, 480 staff members climbed a total of 276,530 stairs over the 24-hour period, crushing the goal of 250,000.

Street and neighborhood cleanups were sponsored by some of the facilities. Others held “trash fashion shows” and scrub exchanges. And finally, community members at one hospital had a chance to meet the sewing team behind the repurposed blue wraps that have been helping to warm some of the local homeless (see this issue’s Lightbulb).