How does protecting the environment matter for human health? That’s something I think about a lot, along with my fellow Green Team members.
Public health and environmental protection are deeply intertwined, so it makes sense that one of the ways OHSU promotes healing is through sustainable practices.
Our members have implemented programs ranging from recycling plastics in the operating room to purchasing meat raised without added antibiotics, to the big obvious ones you can see like our energy and water efficient LEED buildings and infrastructure for public transit, biking, and walking.
Currently, we are focusing on making our sustainability agenda even more coordinated, strategic, and robust. Our goal is to help OHSU continue to promote healing throughout our region and beyond.
One way we like to show our commitment to sustainability is through the Northwest Earth Institute’s EcoChallenge. We have an OHSU team and we would love it if you joined us! For two weeks, October 15-29th, we challenge you (and ourselves) to change one habit that benefits both you and the planet.
The EcoChallenge website has many suggestions for habits to start. Here are a few of my favorites:
- I’ll wash my clothes using cold water and air dry them.
- I’ll disable screen savers — they use 28% more energy; I will put the computer to sleep instead.
- I plan to check for leaks: dripping faucets can waste 20 gallons of water per day.
Remember: start small, from wherever you are, and don’t let perfect get in the way of good. Change is hard – but rewarding – and any progress helps. Thanks for all you do to protect the environment and advance public health! The OHSU Green Team salutes you.