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July 2011, Volume 41 Number 7 , p 14 - 14


  • Amy Tyler BSN, RN, CEN


BEFORE HEADING off to work, I carry my recycling to the street, turn off the lights, and even unplug my coffee pot. I drive off in a fuel-efficient car with reusable grocery bags in the trunk. I've made these changes to my lifestyle to live "greener." You may have taken some of these steps yourself.Unfortunately, many nurses are forced to abandon green practices when they start their shifts. Our nation's hospitals put out an estimated 5.9 million tons of waste annually or 33.8 pounds of waste per staffed bed per day.1 At Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Del., nurses are now taking an active role in controlling waste leaving the EDs and clinical decision unit (CDU). This article describes how nurses on these units have championed several initiatives to decrease waste and cost.Conserving paper and recycling used paper both decrease waste. We now carefully consider our needs before we print, and we print only the excerpt needed. All nursing department documents are available electronically

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