10th Annual Healthy Work Healthy Home Event
BIDMC Today: 10th Annual Healthy Work/Healthy Home Brings Record Turn Out
BIDMC recycles 216 tons of paper annually. The medical center recycles more than 2,600 pieces of computer equipment each year. As of April, 70 percent of BIDMC's lights met NSTAR's energy standards.
These three energy-saving facts were just a few of the answers given during "Green Jeopardy" at the 10th Annual Healthy Work/Healthy Homes Environmental Action Awards Breakfast on Tuesday, April 29. This was the first year the popular television game show, given an environmental twist by Jane Hayward, Lead Designer, Media Services, was incorporated into the breakfast. This year also marked a milestone in the Healthy Work/Healthy Home Environmental Awareness Day's decade-long history.
Also new this year was a short video of Matlaw playing the role of roving reporter, interviewing employees and staff about what they are doing at work and home to be environmentally responsible. Click here to
watch the video.
"We had the most successful Healthy Work/Healthy Home event in all 10 years," said Jane Matlaw, Director of Community Relations and the event's organizer for the past decade. "Hundreds of employees took part in the Environmental Awareness Fair on the Shapiro Bridge, signing a pledge to be environmentally conscious at both work and at home. And we had a terrific response to the recyclable grocery bags we gave out to all who attended."
Matlaw came away with more than a just smile on her face from the event. BIDMC President and CEO Paul Levy surprised her with an award at the annual breakfast event, honoring her dedication to highlighting the medical center's environmental responsibility each year.
BIDMC President and CEO Paul Levy surprised Jane Matlaw, Director of Community Relations, with an award honoring her for organizing the Healthy Work/Healthy Homes Environmental Awareness Day for the past decade.
"I met Jane 10 years ago while she was collecting mercury thermometers," Levy said.
Matlaw is now one of many BIDMC employees who apply their personal environmental beliefs to the workplace. During the breakfast, two teams were honored for their ingenuity in conserving water and electricity. A team of eight employees from Facilities, Engineering, Maintenance and Hotel Services, known as "The Waterdrops," won a $1,000 award for developing a new water conservation program that has reduced the medical center's water usage and discharge by 10.7 million gallons annually. In addition to the environmental savings came a financial savings of $142,000 during the first year alone.
"I know this is the choir, but we need to lead by example," Mark Lukitsch, Utilities and Energy Manager, Facilities, and member of The Waterdrops, said during the breakfast. "Just by shutting off the lights when we leave a room, we are setting an example for our colleagues."
Team Waterdrops took home first place during BIDMC's 10th Annual Healthy Work/Healthy Home Environmental Action Awards, sharing the $1,000 grand prize for developing a new water conservation program.
Lukitsch was also a member of "The Vending Misers," the first runner up in the Environmental Action Awards which won a $500 award. The Vending Misers, a team of five employees from Facilities and Engineering, created an energy-savings program by installing a sensor on vending machines. Used primarily at night to power down the machines during off-peak hours, the sensors are projected to save the medical center more than $68,000 over the next 10 years.
Team members are free to use the cash awards however they see fit.
After gaining a perspective of what their colleagues were doing to go green, staff at the breakfast listened to keynote speaker Ian Bowles, Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs, discuss the Commonwealth's plan of action. Bowles highlighted Governor Deval Patrick's support of the Cape Wind Project as a source of renewable energy, but he said residents need to push for changes at the municipal level as well as in their own homes.
Ian Bowles, Secretary of Environmental Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, urged homeowners to ask for an energy audit of their residences during his keynote address during the Healthy Work/Healthy Home Environmental Action Awards Breakfast Tuesday, April 29.
"There's a lot we can do at the state level and we're doing it," Bowles said. "But there is still a lot that individuals - and individual institutions -can do. Just like we have town Board of Selectmen, we need town-level energy committees."
Bowles urged homeowners to contact the state for an energy audit of their homes; stating only 10 to 15,000 homeowners utilize this free audit annually. He encouraged renters to talk to their landlords about doing an energy audit, especially if their utilities were not included in their rent. "Push your landlords to be more environmentally conscience," Bowles said. "The cost of natural gas is going up. Electricity bills will increase by 30 to 40 percent and that's sobering news."
Luckily, solutions to the some of the problems highlighted by Bowles' address could be found at the Environmental Awareness Fair on the Shapiro Bridge. Reusable grocery shopping bags contained other forms of environmentally friendly tips and tools, including compact fluorescent light bulbs and a guide to lowering heating bills by applying weather stripping to doors and windows.
Outside organizations such as The Network La Red offered staff a way to recycle their old cell phones while at the same time donating a phone for a woman trying to escape an abusive relationship. The Federation of Massachusetts Farmers' Markets was there to let people know the dates and times of upcoming local markets and to encourage BIDMC employees to shop locally. Staff also earned a raffle ticket by signing a pledge to take what they had learned and apply these lessons at home and at the medical center.
Farzana Mohamed, Chief of Staff at BID Needham, is taking her pledge to the next level. Mohamed hopes to bring what she's learned the past few years attending the Healthy Work/Healthy Home Environmental Awareness Day at BIDMC to BID Needham.
"I would love to partner with Jane to do this at BID-Needham," Mohamed said. "We don't recycle over there. I see lots of opportunities."
Paul Levy, President and CEO, right, congratulates Roy Daley, Supervisor, Materials Operations and Logistics, who received an UnSung Hero Award during the Healthy Work/Healthy Home Environmental Action Awards Breakfast Tuesday, April 29. Daley separates slightly damaged but still usable medical supplies, including gauze and latex gloves, and sends to medical groups for use in developing countries.