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Healthier Hospitals Initiative Improves Sustainability and Health

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Healthier Hospitals Helps Save the Environment!

Recently, I had a short time stay at the hospital due to some minor health issues. During my time there, I noticed that there was a lot of paper products, from the garbage bags to the clothes, including the underwear. This got me thinking about these humongous hospitals and health care systems, that take care of hundreds of people a day, are making an effort to reduce waste. Healthier Hospitals is a permanent program of Practice Greenhealth that shows companies how to be more self-sustaining.

HH created a setting that involves the entire company and actually provides them with ways to be eco-friendly. Practice Greenhealth, Health Care Without Harm and the Center for Health Design has made up a six step guide for hospitals who are willing to join. These steps will help hospitals reduce waste and energy, choose safer eco-friendly products, and serve healthier foods.

The Six Healthier Hospital Challenges

The six steps created by Healthier Hospitals are set up so that the health care organizations can go green with ease. First is the engaged leadership program, which is step one because if a company wants to be eco-friendly, they would need the entire corporation on-board. The second step is to purchase and serve healthier food and drinks to patients, employees, visitors, and the communities. Then, step three is that the company needs to reduce energy consumption, increase efficiency, while purchasing cleaner energy alternatives, which will help them save on energy costs. The fourth step is to reduce waste, which might seem easy, but hospitals produce around 11.7 thousand tons of waste each day! The fifth step is for the hospital or health care system to use safer chemicals that won’t have a lasting negative effect on patient’s health and the environment. The sixth and final step is for the hospital to purchase more environmentally-friendly products from vendors.

Healthier Hospitals has provided more than 1,300 hospitals with free tools and resources that help motivate sustainability efforts on the health care systems biggest areas of opportunity and risk. The HH program participants are seeing remarkable results with using less energy, fewer chemicals, and increasing healthy foods service.

Go to http://www.healthierhospitals.org for more information.

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