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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Faces of Sustainability - New Vet Med Teams Hit The Ground Running

Shortly after the start of this year, the College of Veterinary Medicine formed a number of department Green Teams, and met with the Office of Sustainability to ensure they had all the necessary tools, knowledge, and ideas to make their office spaces and business practices more sustainable.

The Dean’s Office team is making strides in energy conservation by participating in the “Chomp Down on Energy” campaign, as well as promoting recycling and waste reduction. Captain Mary Ring promptly reached out to get some additional bins in the building, and team members have been actively removing the office address from junk mail lists to help cut waste at the source. “Education is key,” says Ring, as is recognition for any and all efforts to help encourage camaraderie in sustainability. “If there's one thing we've all learned during the course of the past 6 months it is that every little accomplishment is an important part of the big accomplishment and everyone should be just as thrilled in results whether large or small,” she said.

The Department of Infectious Disease and Pathology team and their captain, Anna Lundgren, are also getting creative. While the team sends out an e-newsletter to keep staff aware of efforts and provide tips, they are also working to audit vending machine use in the hopes of eliminating one of three machines to reduce energy consumption and encourage the use of reusable bottles.

Captain Barbara Dupont has a number of exciting efforts underway in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences. In addition to switching to all electronic exams in the Health Science Center, the team has also put in place a process for saving dry ice packs from deliveries, keeping the environmentally sensitive waste out of the trash and allowing for reuse by others. SACS is also working on a green employee pledge to be included as part of their new hire packet, as well as a similar pledge for current employees.

Jennifer Wallace with the UF Small Animal Hospital made sure to obtain recycling bins for the lobby, while department staff is working hard to shut computers off at night and coordinate with management on adjusting student default printer settings to double-sided.

For more information on Green Teams visit the Green Teams website, or contact Ashley Pennington.