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Mug Shots and Rewards for Green Ideas

Green MugsThis will be a mug shot your mother can be proud of.

If you come up with an idea that reduces energy consumption, conserves resources, or increases recycling and the reuse of materials on campus, then you’ll be rewarded with a new travel mug and have your “green mug shot” (photo of the presentation) posted on the UMass Chan Sustainability Facebook page.

It’s all part of a new “Green Ideas” initiative co-sponsored by UMass Memorial Medical Center housekeeping, its Center for Innovation & Transformational Change (CITC), and UMass Chan Medical School’s Sustainability Office.

“We are always looking for new ways to improve our processes,” said John Jepsen, regional manager at Crothall Healthcare Services who directs housekeeping services on campus. “We know people have a lot of good ideas, so we are asking them to share.”

It works like this: first, post a “Green Idea” to your department’s Idea Board. If the idea is implemented, tell us about it and any results so far in an email to  As a reward and recognition for your green thinking, you will receive a reusable travel mug made from a biodegradable “plastic” derived from corn.  We’ll also post your idea (and photo if you’re not too shy) to our sustainability Facebook page, so other departments can learn from your example and do the same.

“Green ideas are seeds worth spreading,” said Lora Bouchard, CITC process improvement coordinator. “We hope this program will promote the adoption of good ideas and collaboration between departments.”

Idea Boards are part of UMass Memorial Medical Center’s “Ideas System” that encourages everyone to think about the work they do and offer ideas for improvements.  Medical school personnel who do not have access to an Idea Board can email their Green Ideas to

“This isn’t about suggesting broad goals, like ‘lets recycle more’. We’re looking for very specific ideas that can have real impact,” said Suzanne Wood, sustainability and energy efficiency manager at the Medical School. “Even small changes to process can have a big impact over time when we adopt them across the campus.”