Fairview’s Green Team at Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury is always looking for fun and creative ways to bring awareness to the amount of trash the hospital generates. When Sustainability Specialist April Schumacher had the idea of hosting an upcycled art competition, the team got right to work.
"It's a fun way to bring attention to the very serious problem about the tons of waste and garbage that we and other hospitals contribute to landfills each and every day,” nurse Shannon Bierbrauer says.
As a member of the Green Team — a group that includes nursing, housekeeping, nutrition, and wellbeing staff — Shannon and 20 other colleagues meet monthly to discuss ideas for being better stewards of the environment.
"The health care industry is the second leading producer of waste,” Shannon says. "Working in the med-surg unit, I see first-hand how much we accumulate. The average patient generates 18 pounds of waste per day.”
The rules of the upcycled art competition were simple: Create a piece of art only using items that otherwise would be thrown away or recycled. Individual or team entries were accepted, and the artwork was displayed in the cafeteria.
Everyone at Woodwinds was encouraged to vote for their favorite and a trophy was awarded to the top two.
"We all need to remember that we're caring for more than just patients," Shannon says. "We're also caring for the environment."