By Denise Choiniere, MS, RN
UMMC Sustainability Manager
Thanks to the work of dozens of dedicated staff members, the University of Maryland Medical Center has made great strides in its efforts to go green in recent years. Staff members recognize the importance of incorporating sustainable practices to promote a healthier environment not only for their patients, but for themselves as well, and have stepped forward to help lead the effort across all departments.
The numbers below not only show the great amount of success that has resulted from implementing a variety of green initiatives throughout the Medical Center, but also provide a bit of insight into just how much teamwork and cooperation is required by all departments throughout UMMC to ensure that we remain Maryland’s foremost leader in sustainable health care practices.
2 – Number of months until our weekly University Farmers’ Market opens (May 11)
16 – Number of local vendors participating in the second season of the University Farmers’ Market
17 – Number of trees saved for each ton of paper that is recycled
32 – Number of patient care areas throughout UMMC that are involved in the Medical Center’s green teams
34 – Tons of plastic saved from incineration thanks to green team initiatives in 2009
60 – Percentage of reduced disposable cardboard trays used in the café in one month’s time
75 – Percentage of UMMC cleaners that are green-sealed certified
300 – Number of reusable “to go” bags sold in the café in one month’s time
740 – Pounds of alkaline batteries recycled by UMMC employees in 2009
1,500 – Average number of “food miles” traveled to get food from the farm to the plate when food is not purchased “locally”
3,432 – Cubic feet of medical supplies and equipment donated by UMMC to El Salvador
11,928 – Pounds of blue wrap and plastics recycled by UMMC employees in 2009
20,747 – Pounds of electronics recycled by UMMC employees in 2009
75,800 – Pounds of confidential paper recycled by UMMC employees in 2009
85,000 – Dollars saved by reusing sharps containers in 2009
195,878 – Pounds of cardboard recycled by UMMC employees in 2009
362,520 – Pounds of glass, aluminum, and paper recycled in 2009
1,268,980 – Pounds of construction materials and debris recycled by UMMC employees in 2009
But remember, you do not need to belong to a large institution like UMMC in order to affect change in your environment. Check out our helpful tips for going green that individuals like you can implement at home to help all of us leave as light an ecological footprint as possible for future generations.