A Green Lakewood
Our world is constantly changing and at Lakewood Health System, we recognize a responsibility to react. We also know that each of us must adapt and change as needed to help our world, and all of us in it, live and work as one. Through the personal commitment of dedicated staff, we are striving each day to create and help implement eco-friendly initiatives at Lakewood Health System. By committing to programs that can, if even in some small way, help decrease adverse environmental impact, Lakewood Health System is doing its part to encourage a healthier, more sustainable environment. Although, as a leading healthcare facility, we are always looking for additional ways to continuously improve our ecological footprint.
Lakewood Health System received the Environmental Excellence Award from SteriMed, our reprocessing company, which is given to their top 2% performing hospitals nationwide. Lakewood had four times the savings of an average performing hospital our size. There are a variety of items that instead of throwing them away after use they can be reprocessed and repackaged. This practice saves money and reduces waste.
Some of our implemented initiatives are listed below:
Lakewood Heath System hosts the Central Minnesota Farmers’ Market annually in the Main Campus parking lot throughout the growing season (approx. May – Oct.) By supporting Farmer’s Markets, Lakewood Health System is helping to reduce food miles (and thus vehicle pollution and fossil fuel use), reduce packaging, and encourage more environmental production practices.
Items for sale include fresh produce, fresh cut flowers, meats, eggs, home-made baked goods, jams and jellies and even organic dog treats! Produce is available according to the growing season. Additional benefits include maximum freshness, affordability, increased nutritional value, and availability of healthy food choices.
Locally Grown Foods
Our food service department is committed to providing as much local foods as possible to employees, patients and LHS food service visitors based upon growing season/produce availability, having an impact on both environment and overall health.
In collaboration with Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTS), Region Five Development Commission, Sustainable Staples Committee, Bright Energy Solutions and Historic Staples, Lakewood Health System hosts Neighborhood Energy Workshops open to the public. Topics discussed encourage attendees to implement energy-saving techniques.
Print Cartridge Recycling Program
Each print cartridge used at Lakewood Health System is properly recycled. Employees are also encouraged to bring used print cartridges from home to internal drop-off locations. Even better? This initiative doesn’t just “do good” for the environment; it also does good for our local education system! While keeping print cartridges out of landfills, all proceeds from the recycled print cartridges go towards supporting our local school systems.
Lakewood Health System’s gift shop, called “The Shoppe”, provides the best in environmentally-friendly products and gifts through its “Green Corner.” And because anyone is welcome to shop at the Shoppe, this offers patients, employees and community members alike a green gift alternative – for yourself or a friend! Portions of this effort have been made possible through a working partnership with the Crow Wing County Food Coop in Brainerd.
Central MN Alternative Energy Regional Collaborative (CMAERC)
A regional group established by Region Five Development Commission, Lakewood Health System has active healthcare industry representation on this committee. Aside from the healthcare sector, this collaborative group also consists of representation from the business sector, Economic Development, Workforce Development and Education. Lakewood’s participation is made possible through a commitment to build and/or participate in collaborations or coalitions with local, regional and statewide groups as available around specific environmental/green initiative objectives.
The overall goal is of the collaborative and Lakewood’s involvement is to support a healthy regional economy by heightening the awareness of available alternative energy technologies, to strengthen existing businesses and align workforce development and financing resources for new and existing alternative energy companies within the defined region of: Crow Wing, Cass, Morrison, Todd, Wadena, Aitkin, Benton & Mille Lacs counties.
Sustainable Staples Committee
As an avid supporter of community growth and economic development, Lakewood Health System is “thinking globally and acting locally” through our participation on Sustainable Staples, a city-level committee. The Committee is dedicated to providing a path for sustainable living by working collaboratively with the community to educate and provide accessibility to more environmentally sustainable living practices while securing the vitality of the community.