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Golden Valley Health Centers adopts 'green' behaviors

UC Merced isn’t the only green campus in town. Golden Valley Health Centers' Merced campus is putting the “reduce, recycle and reuse” motto to work on its own turf. It was recently awarded a Green Buildings Grant of $25,000 to conserve resources through its infrastructure and staff habits.

This means more recycling, lighting motion detectors, a new subterranean irrigation system and the formation of The Green Team.

The team, a collaboration of about 20 Golden Valley employees, meets once a month to discuss what more the campus can do to reduce air pollution and unnecessary waste, said member Allyson Holman, a Golden Valley health educator.

It gives staff-wide presentations encouraging employees to cut down on vehicle use, and got a bike rack installed to put this practice in motion.

Small changes — such as the paper exchange — can make a big difference, said member Penny Henry, a health center administrative assistant. Whenever staff misprints or uses extra paper when printing, they simply reuse that paper on the other side for in-office paperwork. When paper has been used on both sides, employees take it home to recycle.

Blue cans for bottle recycling are also placed around the campus. “There’s potential for so much waste in any big business,” Henry said. “It’s good to have a team bring awareness to it.”