To Take The Stairs, or Not To Take The Stairs: That is the Question

By Steve Flores

Houston…we have our projects. After weeks of trying to figure out what projects we would be undertaking the rest of the year, we have finally come to some conclusions. I don’t think I’ve been any more excited than I am now because we can finally start producing tangible results. I must admit, I did not think it would take as long as it did to find our footing. Before we finalized our projects, we met with Teresa to ensure that they were achievable. It was after that meeting that we knew we had viable options in our hands. The two projects I am most excited about are our waste audit and our collaboration with the Energy Team.

The idea for the waste audit first started from reading the previous Hospital Sustainability ART reports. In the process of planning the waste audit, we thought of an idea that would be interesting to test. We want to see if the sticker “These come from trees” will have a behavioral effect on people. We are predicting that if we put this small sticker on each of the paper towel dispensers in the hospital bathrooms, it will reduce the number of paper towels used. If our prediction is correct, our results will set the way for the hospital to create their own form of sticker to reduce the waste produced from paper towels.

The second project will involve us closely working with the Energy team on encouraging the use of stairs instead of elevators. It not only saves energy, but also helps promote active lifestyles and human health. There was a previous attempt at the hospital to establish a program, StairWell, that supported the use of stairs. This included putting murals in the staircase to motivate people; unfortunately, it didn't succeed. Our collaboration with the Energy Team will be our attempt to revive the mission once again.

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As the quarter is nearing a close, our team is in a position to make some significant, positive changes at the hospital. We are all new to this program and we want to prove that despite our inexperience, we can ultimately succeed. You could say we are the new kids on the block, but that won’t stop us.

Photograph courtesy of LiveWell Colorado.