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Reducing our Carbon Pawprint
Blue Plus Yellow Makes Green
When NorthStar VETS opened in Robbinsville in 2011, it was designed to help fulfill the purpose of improving the quality of life of others. In this case, that was achieved by reducing our hospital's impact on the environment. Our facility accomplishes this through a number of green architectural features and team practices. To reduce heating and cooling needs year-round, a geothermal loop system was installed. Geothermal energy uses the earth's core temperature of 55 degrees to heat and cool water circulated through the system and pumped back into the building. Geothermal systems help to remove more than 1.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions from the atmosphere every year.
The beauty and power of natural light was harnessed to reduce the need for artificial lighting. Health benefits of sunlight create a stimulating and positive work environment by utilizing a scientific process called Daylighting - allowing the controlled admission of light into the interiors of our building. Four light tubes are built into our dog wards, two massive skylights exist above the in-patient treatment area, and the overall design allows windows on exterior walls to direct light through dark corridors. To ensure minimal use of electricity in our 24-hour hospital, automatic lights turn off when a room is no longer occupied.
NorthStar VETS enforces recycling initiatives with specifically marked receptacles throughout the hospital. Our Pharmacy department reuses cardboard food cartons for hospitalized feline patients as well as re-purposing plastic vial caps/lids. Our IT department participates in ink cartridge and battery recycling programs and our Inventory Management monitors and forecasts stock to help reduce unnecessary waste. CUBEX automated dispensing machines maximize efficiency, lower inventory spend and improve regulatory compliance so our team can focus on patient care.
For the better part of a decade, we've been a paperless practice, reducing tons of paper waste every year. Saving trees was an important theme during initial hospital construction. Our Robbinsville building and parking lot were thoughtfully built around many of the 300+ year old trees on the property. In 2011 NorthStar VETS planted many trees at a nearby community park to offset the loss of any landscapes removed to make room for the new hospital.
In 2020, solar panels were installed in an adjacent property, and will supply up to 20% of our hospital's energy needs, further reducing our carbon footprint. These green efforts are responsible for improving the employee experience, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions - proving how committed we are to improving quality of life for others.
NorthStar VETS has Kicked Plastic Bags to the Curb
A growing number of NJ cities and towns are eliminating the use of plastic shopping bags. 24 municipalities (and one county) currently have plastic bag regulations in effect. 18 municipalities are actively developing plastic bag regulations at this time. All of this comes as Trenton, NJ lawmakers consider a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. If you haven't already noticed, our hospitals have eliminated plastic pharmacy bags in favor of reusable white kraft paper bags. This move fits with our purpose of improving quality of life for others. By doing our part to eliminate plastic waste, we improve our environment and send the message that we care about the environment and future generations.