The med center is always looking for opportunities to reduce waste and improve its impact on the environment, from recycling batteries to going styrofoam free.
Lab coats are one example of items that are challenging for the med center to dispose of responsibly. In the past, lab coats have been repurposed by giving them to research labs on campus, donating them to local schools or making them into blankets for kids. Recently, the med center took another approach to sustainable disposal of the lab coats — shredding them for home insulation.
The med center collected 938 pounds of lab coats and enlisted a local company, DataShield, to shred them. DataShield mainly provides material destruction services, but it is also committed to remaining environmentally conscious — 100% of shredded material is fully processed and recycled into new products.
The shredded material will help to make homes and businesses more energy efficient. Installing insulation is a great way to celebrate National Weatherization Day on Oct. 30, which highlights the impact of energy efficiency efforts in improving the health and safety of the community. Installing insulation to areas where heat loss can occur is one of the most important weatherization projects, because it has such a significant impact on the energy efficiency of a home.
The partnership with DataShield also aligns with National Energy Awareness Month in October, celebrating efforts to reduce energy use, utilize renewable sources of energy or reduce inefficiencies in energy consumption.
That old lab coat might just be going from on someone’s back into the walls and, at the same time, having a positive impact on health and the environment