Posted July 14, 2009

Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading membership and networking
organization for institutions in the health care community that have
made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices recently announced their 2009 Environmental Excellence Awards.  These are given to institutions for programs that reduce the facility’s environmental footprint.

Youville Place assisted living Residence, in
Lexington, Massachusetts, recently received a Partner Recognition Award from them.  The Partner Recognition award is for healthcare facilities that have
begun to work on environmental improvements, achieved some progress,
and have less than 10% recycling rate for the total waste stream.

Locally, Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers – Evergreen Park, IL also recieved Partner Recognition.

In the past, Youville Place Assisted Living paid $85 a ton to dump the coffee grounds and
other scraps into the landfill. It now pays $172 a month to compost
three tons of waste a month.  This and other changes such as using low VOC paint, buying food from local farmers, and cleaning with environmentally friendly products are some of the other green practices at Youville.  You can find the complete article here.

Its just a matter of time before you hear about more “green” senior communities.  I am imagining green roofs (at least here in the city!) as well as reduction in paper use & packaging.  They could also reduce their use of water with low flow toilets and faucets.  Many already use the new longer lasting light bulbs.  They could also use carpets made of natural fibers (or perhaps those carpet tiles – where if one gets dirty you can pull it up and replace it.)  Maybe even organic bedding and use of cloth napkins & tableclothes.  Washing most everything in cold water and using environmentally friendly detergents.

The idea of purchasing ‘nutrient rich’ food from local organic farmers is one of my personal favorites.  It certainly cost more to buy, but the benefits of the vitamins, minerals, and less pesticides is un-measurable in its impact on seniors health.

Any other ideas on how senior communities can green up?

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