Why Should I Go Green?
Why should nurses, practicing at the bedside like you and me, worry about the whole "going green" or "sustainability" movement in healthcare? Isn't that the job of highly paid executives?
Or you may be thinking....
- "It won't impact the way I care for my patients"....
- "It doesn't have anything to do with nursing"....
- "It's a fad that will go away"
- "I can't make a difference."
Yes, sustainability is the job of hospital executives and management, but it is also the job of bedside clinicians! The entire healthcare community has a responsibility to use energy and resources wisely, to reduce waste and dispose of it in the least toxic manner possible, and to provide a safe, healthy environment for workers, as well as patients and their families.
Its just a fad... or is it?
The Going Green movement in general may be gaining in media attention and popularity, all appearances of a fad, but it is certainly not going away. The level of concern about the environment and the impact of a toxic, polluted environment on human health will only continue to grow as the dire condition of our planet is connected to the health and well-being those whose lives it supports.
Green initiatives are now a multimillion dollar investment made by forward thinking businesses ranging from housing, food, product development, as well as healthcare. Also, federal, state and local governments have become major players in the push for a greener world, and provide the structure of policy and standards to industry.
Your Industry is (Finally) on Board
Healthcare is actually a late-comer to the green party, not really getting attention until the mid-late 2000's. Now its a major driver of many healthcare systems, and well established as a trend in the business. Does your hospital hand out any bonuses to its employees? If so, are any of them related to sustainability, ie. reducing costs/waste? I imagine so!
So fellow nurses, Go Green because it is here to stay! Nurses are uniquely positioned to see what changes need to be made to Go Green in a healthcare environment. Lets embrace it, OWN it! It means healthier lives for nurses, patients, communities and indeed, the world.