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Upgrading buildings and systems on campus is important, but it’s the small decisions that people make every day that can add up quickly to a more efficient and sustainable campus.
Whether or not to recycle; remembering to shut off lights and computers at the end of the day and thinking twice before printing; these and other daily decisions are the focus of a new campus-wide program to encourage people to do their part to help UMass Medical School achieve its long-term goals of growing greener.
“As an institution, we are working on large projects, like retrofitting lighting, installing occupancy sensors across the campus, and making our power plant more efficient. But to achieve our goals, it will take more than that. We all need to do our part,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy efficiency manager at UMMS. “We make choices every day, and those choices are important. So we are asking people to take a pledge to do some very modest actions that, if done by most people, collectively will have a major impact on our campus.”
Beginning at this year’s Earth Day celebration on April 24, the school’s Sustainability Committee is asking all members of the campus community to take the following pledge:
• I will turn off my computer, monitor and/or printer at the end of the day
• I will use a reusable water bottle and/or mug at work
• I will change my printer settings to print double-sided (duplex)
• I will recycle my paper, cardboard, bottles, cans and batteries
• I will turn off lights when leaving an office or conference room
People can take the pledge at the Growing Green table at Earth Day, or log on to the site: Doing my part and take the pledge on line at their convenience. The first 400 people who take the pledge will get a UMMS Growing Green re-usable water bottle. UMass Memorial Healthcare employees just need to enterumassmemorial/"username" in the login/domain field and then "password" by using their existing username and password to login.
Facebook users who take the pledge are encouraged to “like” the school’s sustainability page and become an active participant on that page, sharing their ideas and experiences about sustainable practices, both at work and at home.
“We hope to develop an active conversation, using social media and good old fashion peer-to-peer discussions among colleagues, to talk about the importance of taking action to help us be a more sustainable community,” Lucas said.