Over the past several months, I’ve talked a lot about taking care of the healthcare needs of the community and providing care that we would expect for our own loved ones to ensure a better, healthier future. You’ve also heard me talk about “doing the right thing” for our patients. This week I’d like to talk about how GBMC is doing the right thing in another way – by being “Green.” We have quite a robust Green Team at GBMC made up of a wide variety of employees who are helping to create a brighter future not only for our community, but for our planet. We celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and our team has been busy working on the second annual Earth Day event, which will be held at GBMC on Thursday, April 21.
When I first talked to the leader of the Green Team, Mike Forthman, and later met with other members of the team, it struck me that these individuals are really passionate about their efforts. And I must say that over the past two years since the team was established at the hospital, they have achieved some pretty amazing results. They have implemented energy conservation and recycling programs to reduce waste (and waste reduction is something I’m really keen on, as many of you know). In fact, I was amazed to find out that at last year’s Earth Day event, we collected 133 pounds of household batteries, 77 cell phones and 104 pairs of eyeglasses for recycling! The team also introduced healthy living options including installation of a bike rack to encourage more staff who live nearby to bike to work and, in tandem with Keith Sappington and our dietary team, healthier food options in the cafeteria, including locally grown produce.
I know many of you are looking forward to the start of the GBMC Farmer’s Market, which was first introduced last year. I’m told this year the market will be even bigger as the team collaborates with more local farmers, and some of these farmers will be on hand at the Earth Day event, so check them out! The Farmer’s Market, and many of the green activities the team participates in throughout the year, clearly demonstrates our collaboration with other community leaders as well as other hospitals throughout the state through our membership in Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (MD H2E).
We often think of ourselves as partners in health with our community, but we’re also partners in the health and sustainability of our environment. Not only are our efforts far reaching and long lasting, but so are our actions. I’m proud of the responsibility we are taking to ensure the future health of our community…in more ways than one.
Employees - Visit the Green Team pages on the GBMC Infoweb to learn more about next week’s big Earth Day event and how you can take part in GBMC’s green efforts.
What are you doing to be green, either at work or at home? Share your ideas!