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Earth Day 2013 and What You Can Do to Help at PAH

Free-Earth-ImageThe global theme for Earth Day 2013, on Monday, April 22, is “The Face of Climate Change.” Earth Day Network, the group founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day to coordinate the annual day of action that builds and invigorates the environmental movement, chose this year’s theme because of the need to highlight the mounting impact of climate change around the world.

Last year was marked by multiple climate change milestones.

Climate-change_earth day

 

Arctic sea-ice cover reached a record low in September. The US experienced its hottest year ever and the World Meteorological Organization announced that the first decade of this century was the hottest on record for the entire planet. Public perception of extreme weather events as “the new normal” grew as unusual superstorms – such as Hurricane Sandy – struck the northeastern US, the Caribbean and the Philippines; droughts plagued northern Brazil, Russia, China, and two-thirds of US; and exceptional floods inundated Nigeria, Pakistan, parts of China, and again, the US.

Each year, more than one billion people participate in Earth Day-related activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Annually, on and around April 22, communities across approximately 192 countries voice their concerns for the planet and take action to protect it. Quite an increase from the first Earth Day, held in 1970, where 20 million Americans around the country demonstrated in support of a healthy, sustainable environment. The movement resulted in the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. 

How You Can Help at PAH

PAH is continually progressing towards a more sustainable existence. In keeping with the new tradition the hospital is looking for volunteers – ECO Reps – to help further green the campus. The Green Committee needs your help and ideas as they press for more sustainable practices.

What is an ECO Rep?

The ECO Rep is a staff volunteer that provides leadership to their area to improve the environmental sustainability of PAH Buildings.

Why are you important?

The ECO Rep will be knowledgeable of their department and have the ability to influence how sustainable practices can be put into practice. The Green Committee acknowledges that it cannot do it without you!

What is expected?

The ECO Reps will work with the Green Committee to implement “green Programs” to help the Hospital improve its sustainability.

ECO Reps are being asked to help develop and implement ideas to improve specific areas of the hospital operation. Progress meetings will be scheduled. ECO Reps can provide as much or as little time as their schedules permit.

To volunteer, please email your name, department/location, email address and phone number to chris.reitz@uphs.upenn.edu.

Kickoff meeting will be held, Wednesday, April, 24, at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, in the Zubrow Auditorium.

Two Focus Team projects have been identified to start and now need the staff and employees of PAH to help us meet our goals. Won’t you consider signing up to participate on one of the two teams?

Waste Management
Team Leader:  
John Wierzbowski, MSc., MPH, Safety/Emergency Preparedness Manager
Goal:             
Extend the Red Bag Waste reduction to areas outside of the Operating Rooms, including Labor and Delivery, Medical Surgery Areas and others.
 
Work Area Certification
Team Leaders:
Chris Reitz, LEED AP, AIA, CHFM, associate director, Engineering Services
Pete Zeitz, Energy Manager
Goals:  
Implement a certification program for clinical areas and offices to certify green practices are in place. Utilize a point system to allow areas to achieve certification.

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