New Employees Hear it First

For over a year New Employee Orientation has included two sessions on sustainability.  During the last year over 250 employees participated in sustainability training as part of their orientation.

New employees learn from Andrew Ryan, Senior Director of Maintenance and Engineering about the ongoing initiatives at Weill Cornell Medical College.  Cardboard and paper recycling increases, LED light installations, and night setbacks in the Weill Greenberg Center are just a few examples.  Many of the Medical College's initiatives will be featured on this site, and progress will be reported via new postings.

They also hear from Kristen Adams, Administrator, Department of Anesthesiology.  During the "Seven Minutes to Save the Planet" presentation, new hires learn from a fellow employee how green teams across the campus are saving energy and reducing waste.  Employee driven change starts one employee at a time.

Ordering recycled supplies, turning off computer monitors when not used, limiting copies and print-outs, and always using double sided copying are a few examples of what every employee can do to reduce the carbon footprint of our work.  Some changes like using a reusable coffee mug save an employee's own money, as well as creating less garbage.

Upcoming events and new ideas are also reported here on the Sustainability Web Site.  So what are you waiting for?  Check out this site, start making some small changes, and contact us to get more involved.

Posted on 11/11/2009 in green team, Reducing | Permalink

Campus Coffee Cups

Reusable mugs slash the cost of your coffee on campus

Griffis Faculty Cafe (GFC-Cafe) opened last year taking over the concession from Pyramid Coffee.  And they have the winning deal for reusable coffee mugs on campus.  On the second floor of the C building, this small eatery is located in the Archibald Commons.  It is open from 6am - 8pm serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

The GFC Cafe offers a $5 reusable mug including your first fill up.  Subsequent refills are only $1, compared to the $2.25 cost of a large coffee in one of their paper cups.  So the $1.25 savings means full payback by the end of the first week.  Clarence Heard, Supervisor of the cafe stated, "Starting last year, we give a free mug to all first year medical students."  He notes that so far they have sold about 50 additional mugs.  If you don't have the $5, but you already have a reusable coffee mug, bring it on down.  According to the Griffis Faculty Club, the cafe will honor $1 refills with any other type of reusable coffee mug.

If your work area is not convenient to the C building, then the NYP Green mug might be for you.  The NYP mug costs $10 and subsequent refills are only $0.85-$1.05.  It takes a bit longer for the return on investment, but the mug is good for the $.85 refill at the Garden Cafe Cafeteria in the basement and the Garden Express concession at the STARR entrance.  Refills are $1.05 in the Starbucks featured Patio Cafe in the main NYP lobby.   To purchase the mug, inquire at the cashiers in the basement level Garden Cafe Cafeteria.  And if you have already laid out the $10, remember you can also use the NYP mug at the GFC Cafe.

So either way, why is anyone still walking around campus with a paper or worse yet, a styrofoam cup?

Posted on 10/19/2009 in Reducing, reusable mug, save money | Permalink

Healthy Housekeeping

Cleaning product changes reduce chemical waste.

When the Weill Cornell Medical College assumed responsibility for housekeeping services in the Weill Greenberg Center and the research buildings in 2008, the college took that opportunity to transition to green cleaning processes throughout the campus.  All of the routine cleaning products used on campus are approved by Green Seal, which is an independent, nonprofit organization that sets environmental standards and awards a Green Seal of Approval to products that are friendlier to the environment.   The impact of converting is enormous considering the quantities of cleaning products used annually by the Medical College.  Flore Berger, Director Housekeeping Services, has led the initiative to greener cleaning not only for the planet, but for a better working environment for employees and staff. Ms. Berger noted that, “The Green Seal cleaning products give off fewer fumes and our vacuum cleaners use HEPA filters to reduce dust.  These changes make our work areas safer.”

Housekeeping has installed special dispensing stations for our cleaning products so the correct concentration of cleaning solution is used for the type of task being performed.  The cleaning cloths and mops that we use are now made of microfiber, which perform better and last longer.  The special flat mops hold cleaning solution within the handle for direct application, so that compared to traditional mops, the system produces 80% less chemical waste.  Together, these changes reduce the amount of chemicals released into the atmosphere and into the wastewater stream.  The green cleaning approach has been expanded in July 2009 to the Medical College’s rented spaces on East 61st street, and also includes the 1300 York, Oxford, the S-Building, Olin Hall and Lasdon House.  

Posted on 10/26/2009 in chemical waste, housekeeping | Permalink

Did You Know

  • Recycling an aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.


Upcoming Events

  • Unpower Hour 2017: Calling All Green Leaders
  • Update: Green Kits are ready for pickup! if you're a Green leader, check your email for more instructions. If you haven't signed up yet, there is still time; read on for more details.
    As is our yearly tradition, we are gearing up to kick off Weill Cornell Medicine's year-long energy savings plan, and need your help to make it happen.
    Join us as a Green Leader and enroll coworkers in your area for both Earth Hour 2017 on Saturday, March 25 and the WCM Unpower Hour 2017 on Thursday, March 30
    Earth Hour is an initiative by WWF to create awareness about climate change and the power of individuals to create a tangible positive impact on the planet. Every year, millions of people around the world take part in this annual symbolic lights out event on a Saturday night, from 8:30 to 9:30 PM local time. Weill Cornell Medicine is joining this event for the ninth year in a row and will be doing a work-day version of Earth Hour on Thursday, March 30 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM . 
    As a Green Leader, you can help us by signing up colleagues in your area before the events. We'll give you free gifts to hand out and a green shopping bag full of eco-friendly goodies.
    Over 1,000 faculty, students, and staff participated last year- Let's break the record again!