LiveGreen: Earth Week = education, food, and fun

by Melanie Stewart, LiveGreen | May 06, 2014

Image with caption: A tree planting on Arbor Day was one of the highlights of UNMC's Earth Week activities.

A tree planting on Arbor Day was one of the highlights of UNMC's Earth Week activities.

This year's Earth Week was jam-packed with new events and traditional favorites.

The week began with the announcement that UNMC LiveGreen and the clinical enterprise's Energy Advocate Team have combined to form LiveGreen, serving the entire campus.

Tuesday's LiveGreen Scene lunch and learn featured Stephanie Huettner from the Henry Doorly Zoo. Her presentation highlighted the zoo's conservation efforts, along with conservation organizations that the zoo supports. If you missed her talk, watch it here (you need QuickTime).

Wednesday saw LiveGreen's first contest, the ReUse It Challenge. Contestants created something new out of items that had outlived their original purpose. More than 45 different items were submitted and can be seen here.

Your winners are:

  • In third place, winning an insulated shopping bag filled with reusable items, for her car wash barrel turned rain barrel: Catherine Tran.
  • In second place, winning a $40 Mulhall's gift card, with a five-panel door converted to a king-sized headboard: Andrea Paxton.
  • In first place, taking home a $60 Grey Plume gift card, for her idea and work to turn surgical caps into quilts for pediatric patients: Linda Marcum.

At Thursday's popular electronic recycling and personal document shredding event, volunteers collected 5,321 pounds of electronics and 1,852 pounds of paper. All personal information was destroyed, and all components will be recycled.

By recycling a total of 7,173 pounds of electronics and paper, roughly equivalent to the weight of four Smart Cars, UNMC/clinical enterprise employees and students are preventing approximately 10.5 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. This is equivalent to the emissions associated with consuming 1,180 gallons of gas.

Friday was Arbor Day, and in addition to our traditional tree planting, we celebrated by giving away 420 ice cream cones, 150 Serviceberry trees, 200 packets of wildflowers and free advice from an arborist, all while listening to classic rock and roll from BluesAgent.

Throughout the week we collected gently used eyeglasses to "recycle" them to others. UNMC Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences will have an additional 56 pairs of glasses to give away at the Bridge to Care Health Fair.

Last but not least, LiveGreen was also at the Nebraska Science Festival. Students matched items with the time it takes them to break down in a landfill and got some interesting answers. Did you know discarded pop cans stick around for 500 years?

If you have ideas for next year, please email LiveGreen.

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