exploring possibilities for greening the ucla medical center

By Kyle Hess

The Ronald Reagan Medical Center dining commons

The Ronald Reagan Medical Center dining commons

At the start of week five, what we all knew would be one of the busiest weeks of the quarter, we had a lot of ground to cover. Despite midterms and papers, our team took the time to explore the Ronald Reagan Medical Center, holding our meeting in what we decided to make one of our main focus areas: the hospital dining commons. At this point, we were definitely between a rock and a hard place. I can easily say that our team had no problem coming up with a wealth of ideas; however, given the sensitive nature of the hospital environment, many of these ideas were deemed unfeasible. As to not double back, we saw the need to first consolidate all of our project ideas and then move on to considering new ones.

To recap, there are several projects that we know for a fact need to be accomplished. The first is the Second Annual Earth Day Fair at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center. Second is to produce an interactive educational module that provides information on the medical center’s sustainable practices as well as how individuals can go green. These projects have been given the green light and we are ready to start them.

Contrarily, there are a few projects that led only to dead ends. As previously noted, an outside firm was hired to handle the design of the two-bin system. Power-saving software is not practical for the medical center’s many computers due to scheduled software updates. And a food survey for patients required a more centralized focus.

Luckily, our team is committed and innovative. Moving forward, I believe our team has found a few viable project ideas. Exploring the possibility of relighting the Ronald Reagan Medical Center with LED’s as well as the possibility of engaging the hospital in environmentally preferable purchasing have been posed as possible ideas.  Our focus for the dining commons is to create a food map that will show guests where their food is from. Also rewriting and focusing our survey questions and examining the compost system for bathrooms are viable project options.

We are headed in another direction, a new direction, and hopefully the right direction. There are only a few questions that we need answered before we can move forward. With our team’s new ideas, all that is left is to wait for the green light from our stakeholder.