By Rosanne Fohn
|Nearly 300 people attended last year’s Go Green Fair. Here, dental hygienist Lisa Creagh (left) commits to the Go Green Pledge with help from Green Initiative Committee member Eileen Kleffner, academic program coordinator in the Department of Surgery.|
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The UT Health Science Center San Antonio will hold a Go Green Fair from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, in the Lecture Hall Foyer.
The fair, sponsored by the university’s Green Initiatives Committee (GIC), will provide information from a number of outside agencies and organizations about Earth-friendly practices, such as conserving water and electricity, as well as flexible fuel vehicles, recycling, composting, rainfall catchment, solar energy, riding the bus and carpooling.
Several Health Science Center offices also will participate including the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, the Briscoe Library, Landscaping Services, Aramark and the GIC. Participants will have the opportunity to take the Go Green Pledge and compete for door prizes.
“Bringing such groups as SAWS, CPS, the Bexar County Master Gardeners, Build San Antonio Green and Solar San Antonio on campus will make it easier for everyone to learn how they can become more involved in green practices,” said John Amos, chair of the GIC and an architect in Facilities Management. “The GIC is always interested in new ‘green’ ideas for our campuses.”
Green practices at the Health Science Center
|(Click on images for larger view) Earlier this year, solar panels were placed on top of the School of Medicine and a solar panel carport was installed in front of the school. This follows a similar project in 2011 at the South Texas Research Facility. Both projects provide solar power for university buildings. |
Over the past several years the Health Science Center has enacted numerous practices to promote a healthy environment on campus including:
- Initiating a pilot water fountain retrofit program this spring in the Lecture Hall Foyer and School of Nursing to make it easy to refill reusable water bottles with filtered water
- Using more than 101 million gallons of recycled (non-potable) water provided by SAWS over the past year for landscaping and to cool energy plants on the Long Campus and Greehey Academic & Research Campus, preserving local drinking water while providing a significant financial savings to the UT Health Science Center.
- Installing solar power arrays at the South Texas Research Facility and Long Campus that generate power for the STRF and the Academic and Administration Building
- Providing recycling bins for paper, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans throughout the campuses
- Reusing more than 200 cubic yards of rock from the roof of the McDermott Building during a reroofing project to use for landscaping, instead of trucking the material to the landfill
- Using drought-resistant plants and mulch in landscaping, and replanting favorable trees displaced by construction
- Replacing police cruisers and other university vehicles with more energy-efficient vehicles or hybrids where appropriate
- Replacing less efficient freezers used for research with more efficient models
- Initiating “green” purchasing policies to offer products with post-recycled materials, as well as equipment that uses less electricity or is a “greener” option in the long run
- Incorporating energy efficient designs in construction of the Medical Arts & Research Center, South Texas Research Facility and the soon-to-be-built Oral Health Care Center
- Instituting an Energy Conservation Committee to examine ways to decrease energy use on campus
- Using green-certified cleaning products in university buildings
- Installing a mercury amalgam removal system in the Dental School to capture mercury used in fillings
The university also has received numerous awards for its energy-efficient initiatives
For more information about the GIC and to take the Go Green Pledge, visit the Go Green Website
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