After reviewing the survey that I shared with you on Earth Day yesterday, I learned just how committed Northern Health staff are to energy conservation! It was great to see the number and diversity of responses from all over the Northern Health region.
To move this passion into action, I recently put out a call to staff in the northwest region for “bright ideas” – any suggestions that they had for conservation improvements. The breadth and depth of ideas that we received was truly impressive and we thank everyone who participated for contributing! Staff in the northwest had some great ideas that I wanted to share to inspire your own conservation thinking! How might you conserve energy in your home or workplace?
Here is a summary of the results:
- 40 total entries
- 8 major themes: lighting, computers, equipment, heating and cooling (HVAC), water, recycling, laundry and paper
Here is a sample of some of the great ideas that were submitted.
From staff in Dease Lake & Kitimat:
Replacing exterior and street lights with high efficiency LED lights.
It is estimated that lighting makes up about one-third of a typical institution’s energy consumption – think of all those thousands of dollars to save!
From Prince Rupert:
Creating a pod-based recycling system with designated spots for paper recycling and other materials.
A staff member in Houston submitted many ideas including turning off cooking equipment overnight or when not in use in kitchens and creating reminder notes to turn off taps completely to save water.
We heard great ideas from Smithers:
Looking at ways to reduce laundry use when carrying out exams, such as making gowns optional or by request, and sizing sheets to fit exam tables to reduce excess material adding to laundry generated.
Creating reminders and promotions to encourage staff to turn off lights in unused spaces to reduce energy waste.
Staff in Terrace submitted many ideas including reviewing insulation along water pipes, installing insulated foam along all water pipes to conserve energy, and installing programs to log off computers when not in use.
On a weekly basis, vacuuming registers and vents to prevent the air flow from being blocked.
From Queen Charlotte City:
Creating a comprehensive strategy to look at resource utilization at facilities focusing on heating, electricity, solid waste and water utilization, and tracking energy data across sites.
And from a staff person in Terrace:
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator to save energy and get exercise.
Stay tuned for more Bright Ideas from other regions – I’ll be launching a northeast contest in June!
About Les Sluggett
Les Sluggett is Northern Health’s energy manager, which sees him supporting facility managers in Northern Health to explore and understand energy conservation through technologies and programs. His efforts help facilities personnel to be more energy efficient so that patients are comfortable in a reliable and safe environment. In his spare time, Les attends his local YMCA or heads outdoors skiing in the winter and canoeing & travelling in the summer. At home as at work, Les tries to reduce waste and be more energy efficient.