MGG goes to the ER …!

emergncyNo kidding.  Mom Goes Green went to the ER.

Long story short… it started with an “Ugh-oh… what is happening to my vision?… Ugh-oh… wow, now speaking is becoming an issue” kinda-thing.  (No, I wasn’t drinking too many cocktails, it was actually some crazy migraine thing that created quite a frightening set of side effects … but ANYHOW…. I need to tell my amusing part of the story!!!…)

During the “50-question-how-did-you-get-here” portion of the evening I was asked the typical questions that delve into your lifestyle: Drinking? (socially) Smoking? (not any more) Drug abuse… prescription or recreational… ?!?!  Well, you would have thought they asked me if I was willing to eat my young(!) because my response was, well, a bit over the top!

It sounded a little bit like this?:

Drugs?  God NO! Are you kidding me?  I eat all organic food. I won’t even eat FOODS that do drugs! Disgusting.  Really.  I’m all organic, no steroids, no growth hormones and all that junk.  Do you have any idea how bad it is for you??? So drugs, for me?  Yea, no… not even in my FOOD, my man!” (His blank look was priceless.)drug tom

It’s kind of funny how my love for organics came bursting through, even in the most bizarre moment.  I guess I am, and will always be, Mom Goes Green… the funny thing is, that dialogue probably made me sounds like I WAS on drugs, didn’t it?

Oh well… I am Mom Goes Green… at home, in the market, on the go and I guess… in the ER too!

Hospitals have a long road “to green”.

Over the past six days, while I have been spending an unfortunate amount of time at the hospital visiting my stepdad, I have also noticed an extraordinary amount of waste in every practice and every function.

hospital-signIt’s been mind-boggling (albeit nice and distracting too, to occasionally think about something else) but everything from all of the paper and disposable/single-use supplies, to unused but illuminated rooms, to plugged-in equipment with ’no one attached’, to the cafeteria (a haven for Styrofoam) all adds up.  While some of the waste is hazardous and toxic, I was surprised to discover that 85% of the waste that exits hospitals is actually non-infectious waste.  Now, there’s room for improvement …

U.S. Hospitals generate more than 2 million tons of solid waste per year… that’s 15 pounds of waste per patient every day. But I was also surprised to learn that 53% of the waste is actually paper!… now there’s an opportunity!  Additional percentages (between 15-17% each) exist for food and plastics.  Sounds like every hospital needs a big compost pile and a massive recycle bin! If the cafeterias alone would stop stocking Styrofoam and go back to reusable serveware and utensils, that savings alone would be

I’m sure the other issues are a lot more complicated than I’m making them and someone will take a shot at me for not knowing what I’m talking about, but that’s okay.  Educate me.  Because the way I look at it, there are approximately 6,000 hospitals in the alone and that a whoooole lotta trash…

There aren’t simple ways to select green hospitals (and often, in emergencies, you don’t really care), but if you’re in the healthcare industry, there are so many ways you can begin helping to create greener changes and that will hopefully come soon.

For now, dad’s getting quality care and I’m absolutely at peace with letting them create his 15 pounds per day.