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Green Hospital Changes

Posted on March 31, 2017 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

As Big Corp continues to cater to the ever growing faction of environmentally concerned consumers, so too has the business of medicine. Stepping into a hospital immediately places you in an enclosed atmosphere where food and other amenities are at the whim of whatever is available. There is also a variety of behind-the-scenes Eco-unfriendly practices that often go unnoticed until the green alarms are sounded.

Now, instead of relying on or witnessing a variety of non-green practices, many hospitals have stepped up and joined the earth healing revolution with some impressive results.

The Eats

Hospital cafeteria food can be hit or miss but the overall gustatory choices may not be as green as you’d like. Whether it's chemically altered items like soda which is a health risk, increases landfill waste and heightens chemical air, water and soil pollutants to excessive meat items from cattle farming which adds to global warming.

In 2012 a national initiative titled Healthier Food Challenge was implemented with 21 hospitals on board, today there are over 137 participants. Included in this initiative is using more local food vendors to reduce excessive fossil fuels for transported cafeteria supplies.

According to the Becker Hospital Review,

“In 2014, 115 hospitals spent $35,805,740 on local and sustainable food, and 64 percent (74 hospitals) purchased at least 15 percent of their food locally and sustainably.”

Non-Toxic Mend

Hospitals have been notorious for using highly toxic cleaning supplies and for good reason. Volatile germs can run rampant in a medical setting causing a recent wave in hospital related illness and the need to eliminate threats at all costs. Recent innovation in non-toxic cleaning supplies have shown to compare or exceed conventional choices with many hospitals jumping on-board.

One example is how The University of California-San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF) implemented these non-toxic changes:

  • Instead of disposable alcohol wipes, custodians use non-alcohol, non-bleach wipes that give off fewer harsh fumes.
  • Bleach is used only to scrub out highly infectious bacteria in rooms where patients have checked out or where patients with infectious diseases are staying.
  • Nontoxic products approved by Green Seal, a sustainability-certification group, are used to clean glass, carpets, upholstery, bathrooms, and floors.
  • The floors of patient-care areas are being renovated from vinyl—which requires stripping and waxing to maintain its shine—to rubber, which can be cleaned with water and buffed with a cleaning pad.

24/7 Energy Changes

Hospitals are one of the highest energy consumers due to 24 hour, 7 days per week, 365 days per year consumption. Over time, minimal to major changes could significantly reduce excessive energy use, while saving money for each hospital business at the same time.

Hospitals and Health Networks (HHN) reported on one facility that invested in a time-tested approach with impressive results over a 7 year application stating that,

“...by installing variable-frequency drive chillers, changing to light-emitting diode lighting, reducing kitchen hood runtime, changing out older air handling units and capitalizing a water side economizer for fiscal 2016. The result: The hospital’s Energy Star score of 10 in 2008 jumped to 41 in 2015.”

Energy efficient changes such as solar panel installations have been an exceptional win-win for green hospital changes. The energy used to power continued lighting, elevator transport and essential machinery has saved considerable cost and fossil fuel waste.

 

As hospitals follow a greener protocol, patients and visitors are in safer, more sustainable hands. Possibly, going forward, there just may be more Eco-friendly practices when it comes to actual treatment. Using alternative measures such as acupuncture, botanical medicine, and homeopathy could swing the pendulum back from the Big Pharma bottom line to an empowered healing that goes hand-in-hand with more of what the earth has to offer.


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Health and Safety, Your Green Business and was tagged with ENERGY EFFICIENT, hospitals, medicine, NON-TOXIC, SUSTAINABLE

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