On Being Green

The environmentalist David Orr once said that, “When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.”  As members of Covenant Health Systems, Youville House and Youville Place have embraced a strong commitment to caring for the environment and, in that, providing an environment of care for our residents, staff and visitors.   In recent years both residences have won several Greeenhealth and similar awards for ‘green’ practices adopted to preserve our earth and provide an even safer living space.  For receiving these awards, 1000 trees were planted in Africa and another 1000 in Haiti.

We have, for example, virtually eliminated V.O.C paints, and all mercury produces several years ago; use green cleaning products as standard practice.  In the area of energy savings, 100’s of incandescent bulbs have been replaced with energy efficient, florescent or LED bulbs;  air handlers now have variable frequency drives (VFD) to ramp  down or shut off when not needed; Youville Place has a co-generator which uses one fuel to simultaneously generate both electricity and heat.  Significant energy and financial savings are realized in this.  Recycling initiatives of solid, regulated and hazardous waste have kept over 70 tons of waste out of the landfill (waste streams) in 2011 alone.  We are working with Mass Save to search out more energy savings.  There is also a growing initiative to monitor the food we purchase and consume.  We’ve eliminated trans-fats and rbgh hormone products and, whenever possible, purchase locally grown produce.

This is a partial listing.  Additionally, there are many more opportunities as we follow through on our commitment to provide an environment of care.  We embrace the journey.