Medical center to celebrate milestones during Earth Week April 16-20

Employees and students at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and The Nebraska Medical Center will celebrate Earth Week April 16-20.

Employees and students at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and The Nebraska Medical Center will celebrate Earth Week April 16-20.

The Nebraska Medical Center Energy Advocate Team and UNMC LiveGreen are offering ways for employees and students to be involved in campus Earth Week activities, which are focused on waste reduction and recycling.

Since the recycling program started in 1989, the campus has recycled more than 21 million pounds of paper, cardboard and other recyclables.

In 2011, the campus saved an estimated $475,000 and prevented 2,215 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere as a result of various energy-efficiency measures and initiatives aimed at promoting behaviors that conserve energy and natural resources.

To provide some perspective, 2,215 metric tons of carbon dioxide is equivalent to the emissions produced by any of the following:

  • 435 vehicles in a year;
  • consuming more than 248,500 gallons of gas; and
  • energy to run 192 average homes for a year.

"Identifying and implementing waste reduction and recycling opportunities are a major part of our 2012 Energy Advocates program and a primary goal for the year," said Don Futrell, executive director of Facilities & Clinical Special Planning at The Nebraska Medical Center. "Our partnership with UNMC in this effort has allowed us to achieve campus-wide involvement in activities that conserve natural resources and energy. Earth Week is our opportunity to celebrate the wonderful work that has been done and continue to raise awareness."

Melanie Stewart, director of the UNMC LiveGreen initiative, said a lot has been accomplished this year because of employee response and involvement.

"It's been an exciting first year for UNMC LiveGreen, and the biggest reason for that is employee response," Stewart said. "We have big goals for the upcoming year, and it should be fun to see what we accomplish going forward."

More than 1 billion people worldwide participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

Some of the activities planned next week include a tree planting, a pledge to save energy and resources on campus, TerraCycle Writing Instrument Recycling, and the Plastic Bag Man (who wears a suit made out of 500 plastic disposable bags - the average number that each American uses over the course of a year) handing out free reusable shopping bags.

On Friday, April 20, the public is invited to recycle household electronics (for a small fee) and to shred confidential paper for free, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the west parking lot of The Recovery Room Bar & Grill (former Pauli's) at 41st and Leavenworth Streets. Bring anything with a plug, batteries or a circuit board. A sample of fees: $8 for TVs and monitors with a screen up to approximately 20 inches; $15 for TVs and monitors with a screen 21 inches or larger; $1 for all other electronic items. Cash or checks only.

With a reputation for excellence, innovation and extraordinary patient care, The Nebraska Medical Center has an international reputation for providing solid organ and bone marrow transplantation and is well known nationally and regionally for its oncology, neurology and cardiology programs.  The Nebraska Medical Center can be found online at www.nebraskamed.com

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu. 


Vicky Cerino
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-5190