By Justin Graves, BSN, RN
Senior Clinical Nurse at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and Chair of the UMMC Green Team
April 20 turned out to be picture perfect for the Medical Center’s annual Earth Day celebration. You could feel the energy and excitement all over the hospital.
The heart of the Earth Day celebrations took place under the natural sunlight of the Weinberg Atrium. Hospital staff and guests from other organizations provided information, education and many great earth-friendly giveaways, like vegetable and flower seeds. Participants included BGE Smart Energy Program, Hygia, E-Structors, the MTA Baltimore Red Line project and the Maryland Pesticide Network.
The annual scrub swap gave people the opportunity to trade in scrubs that they no longer need while providing a free source of scrubs for others. The Complementary and Alternative Medicine team was on hand to provide a relaxation oasis during a busy day, through free Reiki sessions and therapeutic harp music.
Earth Day also kicked off two major events at the MedicalCenter:
- The hospital cafeteria’s “Re-Think Your Drink” campaign aims to reduce the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages the average person consumes, while educating about healthier alternatives.
- The Medical Center Garage unveiled 34 new preferred parking spots for low-emission and fuel-efficient vehicles.
UMMC’s first-ever bike commuter workshop (see photo, above) turned out to be a new favorite, presented by Bike Maryland at the hospital’s new bike racks outside the Gudelsky entrance. More than a dozen hospital staff members attended. It was a beautiful day to sit outside and learn how just one day a week of bike commuting (even for one leg of the trip) significantly helps the environment as well as a commuter’s health.
Our executive chef, Steve Mack, cooked up burgers from Roseda Beef, a small family farm in Maryland, and used locally grown lettuce for the Caesar salad. By purchasing local foods, Steve is supporting our local farmers and decreasing the amount of miles our food travels, which decreases the pollutants in the air we breath.
The Facilities Services department was on hand to assist hospital departments with their spring cleaning, hauling away truckloads of items for donation or storage.
Denise Choiniere, MS, RN, UMMC’s sustainability manager, and I were excited by the turnout and expect to see the enthusiasm continue throughout the year as more sustainability initiatives are rolled out at the MedicalCenter.
For more information about joining UMMC’s Green Team, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.