2015 Green Routine Award Winners Improve Sustainability Indoors and Out
October 22, 2015
Supply Reduction, Togus Regional Benefit Office, ME
Project Lead: Scott Brooke
In June 2014, the Togus VARO began a project called, The Lean Project, consisting of several components rolled into one large project. The projects objective was to clear the office of as much excess paper, supplies, furniture, and equipment as possible, with the goal to reuse, repurpose, or recycle as much of the material as possible. In a project that lasted approximately nine months, the VARO was able to remove 48,345 pounds of paper, supplies, equipment and furniture with only approximately 30 pounds of waste.
Energy Conservation Plan, Calverton National Cemetery, NY
The 1,000 acre Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton, NY, is the largest user of energy (1 million kilowatts/year) at the National Cemetery Administration. Led by my Mr. Morris, a shop foreman, Calverton installed eight large and small photovoltaic (PV) systems, room occupancy sensors and efficient lighting, efficient irrigation pumps, and other measures. They are currently coordinating with their local electrical utility to perform energy audits on their 39 buildings.
Earth Day Battery and Electronics Recycling, Tomah VA Medical Center, WI
Mr. Brande, a Supply Management Specialist in Logistics, reached out to VA employees and the surrounding communities, as well as the City of Tomah, to recycle their electronic waste at no cost to them or to VA. He did this by holding an Earth Day event to collect these materials, as well as separately collecting electronics waste generated by the city government of Tomah.
Farmers Market by Veterans for Veterans, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, WA
Ms. Merritt became aware of a local non-profit farm run by Veterans to “empower military veterans to grow food, communities and each other.” Ms. Merritt partnered with the Growing Veterans and Veterans Canteen Service, to provide a weekly farmers market at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System — Seattle Division facility for patients and staff. Additionally, a beta test of Community Supported Agriculture was included, which was successfully supported by several dozen staff. Excess items at the end of the day are donated to the on-site Fisher House.
Dental Instrument Raw Material Recycling, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, WA
Kolleen Kelly and Daniel Lilley
Mr. Lilly and Ms. Kelly took it upon themselves to buy medical implements from a vendor that provides a recycling credit. The medical items that are not able to be re-used or re-processed are shipped directly to a scrap metal vendor which is willing to accept medical waste for raw scrap metal recycling. The pair mailed nearly 1,000 instruments in FY14 resulting in 75 free instrument credits with the vendor, saving the facility several thousand dollars.
Recycling Expansion Initiative, VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, NE
Colin Beal (transferred), Helen Bernadt, Dennis Hawkes (retired), Linda Floyd, Kris Kintzle, Jeannie Meyer Hoagland (retired), Jayne Peters, Abe Sote, and Gina Woods
The NWIHCS Recycling Group was formed by a group of individuals who wanted to improve the recycling programs across the entire health care system. The recycling group obtained special funding to purchase new recycling stations and coordinated the placement of these stations in the public areas of the Omaha and Grand Island Medical Centers. The group also expanded the recycling program with a process for recycling alkaline batteries.
Printing Reduction Initiatives, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, WA
Rebecca Cutler, Tiny Hudson, and Helen Roberts
Ms. Hudson has implemented the use of system-compatible software to reduce printing by 1,000 shift report pages a week (100 reams a year). Ms. Roberts and Ms. Cutler implemented and enforced a system to annotate when each patient had received education booklets. This minimized unnecessary printing and mailing of color copy, high quality paper booklets, with potential savings of thousands of dollars.