FOR REAL: From left, REAL members Barbara Irby, MS, RPh, director of Pharmacy
Experiential Education; Sara Sivaraman, clinical research coordinator in Neurosurgery;
Ida Aiken, RN, staff nurse; Andrews; Theodore; Halliwell; and Alys Myers, of the Center of
Community Health Improvement
Members of MGH REAL (Raising Environmental Awareness League) have added something of their own to the popular motto “reduce, reuse, recycle” as part of their ongoing mission to educate the community about conservation tactics. “We have added ‘rethink’ to the start of the traditional mantra, and we added ‘restore’ to the end,” said Edwin Andrews, administrative manager of the MGH Clinical Research Center and REAL team leader. “We hope people will think ‘Do I need that?’ or ‘Can I do that in a different way?’”
In recognition of the annual America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, the REAL team hosted an information table in the Main Lobby to educate staff, visitors and patients about recycling efforts and new methods for promoting a greener environment both in the workplace and at home. At the MGH, the group noted, more than 620 tons of paper and cardboard are recycled annually, which has reduced disposal fees by $123,485. Thanks to its green design practices, the MGH also has preserved the equivalent of 11,941 trees and saved 56,192 cubic feet of landfill space.
During the America Recycles Day event, Quincy resident Maria Theodore, 12, a student at Thayer Academy, showcased a line of unique recycled artwork she creates with her 14-year-old brother Harry, a student at Roxbury Latin. “When I was at my doctor’s office, she had some of these flip caps from the top of vaccine bottles on her desk that looked like buttons, and I asked if I could take some of them home,” Maria said. The teens now collect what are typically discarded caps and use them to create bright and colorful designs on canvas squares.
“Maria reached out to our group and presented us with the project,” said Mary Ellen Halliwell, senior technologist in the Microbiology Laboratory. “Their flip cap art project helps encourage people to recycle by creating awareness. We hope we’ll be able to have their work on display somewhere in the hospital in the future.”