Take One for the (GREEN) Team

Now you may be thinking how can Ed and Kady get all this greenification done at UHN.

Or you may be thinking, I would really like to be snoozing under a palm tree with a  gentle sea breeze blowing by.

However upon awaking from your snooze you suddenly realize that is just isn’t possible to do all that greenifiaction alone.  The truth is we don’t.  We have 350 individual green team members all making small changes day-to-day in their departments.  When there is more work than one person can do alone (that usually happens to be everywhere) departmental green teams to the rescue.  When we first launched the departmental green team program in 2009 we had only a few committed teams now we have over 17  teams meeting at least twice a year to separate the trash from the treasure. 

Throughout January I was busy attending green team meetings across UHN.  Staff shared their successes and some of their challenges and together we have prioritized projects that even busy UHN employees can work on day-to-day.

What’s interesting is that green teams from distant corners of the organization all have similar interests and issues.  Where one team has a problem another is working on a solution which makes it easy for us to take these good ideas and spread ’em. 

Here are just some of the things staff are working on right now – today as we speak.

7 teams are or will start saving energy with TLC.  Little by little lights are being turned off, computers and monitors being turned off and staff are sending in ideas full of new possibilities.

5 teams have just completed a waste audit so we can provide relevant information about how to improve recycling and reduce waste.

9 teams are composting food, paper towels or both

In addition to that here are highlights from each team

  1. TGH Emergency Department – hosted a paperless conference in 2009
  2. TGH Medical Surgical ICU – has reusable plates for staff and is switching to energy efficient lighting
  3. PMH Radiation Therapy – uses paper cups instead of Styrofoam and is composting table paper
  4. TGH Medical Imaging – composts food and paper towel at hand washing sinks
  5. TWH Medical Imaging – hosted a green team booth at their annual education day 
  6. PMH Medical Imaging – has the best recycling rates at UHN
  7. Infection Prevention and Control – saved tonnes of chemicals when they changed a UHN process from “disinfect” to “clean” floors ; and they compost too.
  8. Wilson Center – implemented double sided printing
  9. PMH Drug Development Program – updating recycling posters to make them departmental specific
  10. eHealth – uses 100% recycled content paper and is thinking about switching to rechargeable batteries for all their gizmos.  Not to mention all the carbon savings from the Telehealth program.
  11. Pharmacy – using double sided printing and efficient separation of packaging for recycling
  12. Laboratory Medicine Program – you all read Wearing Our Green Stains Proudly last week right?
  13. Nutrition – leader in composting and bottle water elimination
  14. Research – working on a shut the sash program to save energy by closing fume hoods
  15. Events – successful bake sale and green team banner competition
  16. Inpatient Mental Health – adding a green item to every staff meeting agenda and are composting food and paper towel
  17. SIMS – switched to reusable mugs instead of styrofoam and installed occupancy sensors in meeting rooms

All that and these folks are saving lives everyday.

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