How to save energy this holiday season

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How to save energy this holiday season
If you’re planning to decorate your house this holiday season, consider these tips to save energy:
1. Switch to LED holiday lights.
2. Put your outdoor or indoor lights on a timer.
3. Consider decorating inside with candles versus lights.
4. Turn off overhead lights in a room if your Christmas tree lights are on.
5. Turn down the thermostat when you have a large number of guests at your house.
6. Before you head out to visit family or go on vacation, be sure to unplug appliances that don’t need to be left on and turn off lights in the house.
7. Take a walk to see holiday lights versus driving.
8. If you’re in charge of cooking the holiday meal, consider cooking multiple dishes at a time.
9. Avoid opening the oven door to peek at food and keep a lid on pots as much as possible to prevent heat from escaping.
10. If you’re buying electronics or appliances look for the Energy Star label.

Think green this holiday season and save energy!


The ‘E’ in team: Electronics recycling was mega-success

A team effort to collect electronic wastes allowed staff members at Gundersen Health System to safely dispose of their old TVs, computers and more—while donating food to a great cause.

Literally truckloads of consumer electronic wastes avoided the landfill or improper disposal, while more than three-quarters of a ton of food went to feed local families.

“That’s a win-win in anyone’s book,” says Tom Thompson, sustainability coordinator, who arranged the Gundersen e-waste recycling events Oct. 11-12 on the La Crosse and Onalaska campuses. The events were sponsored by Gundersen’s Environmental Compliance department.

By the numbers
Customers: 205 staff members in Onalaska;
242 in La Crosse
Collected: 14,840 pounds of electronic
waste in La Crosse; 11,945 pounds of electronic
waste in Onalaska
Food: 1,723 pounds of nonperishable
food given by Gundersen employees to benefit
WAFER Food Pantry

“We could not have done this without FacOps and Logistics support,” says a very grateful Tom. “Without them and their equipment we would not have been able pull this off, unless with great cost to the organization.” And the food donations will be a tremendous help. “We really, really need the food right now,” WAFER executive director Erin Waldhart, tells Tom.


The Great Lakes Apple Crunch

Today we celebrated the 🍎Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch !🍏

This special event helps raise awareness about eating better for our health and the environment, access and affordability of fruits and vegetables for everyone and supporting local farmers. It’s a great way to show support for the Farm to School program and Gundersen’s commitment to healthy eating. 🍎

22448250_10154822454542595_1857042983926177834_nCoulee Region Farm2School is a partnership between La Crosse County Health Department, Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare, Gundersen Health System, and the School Districts of Bangor, Holmen, La Crescent-Hokah, La Crosse, Onalaska, and West Salem.

Happy Earth Day from Envision

Mug shots

Earth Day was first celebrated more than 45 years ago, and is still celebrated on April 22nd of each year.  Rallies, conferences, outdoor activities and service projects are occurring worldwide today in observance of our planet and its protection.  Perhaps you have plans to participate!

At Gundersen, however, Earth Day is more than just a single day.

Being environmental stewards is a system-wide mission for Gundersen.  Gundersen has been nationally recognized for their innovative environmental initiatives, and is considered a leader in healthcare sustainability.  Improving the health of the communities Gundersen serves is a role taken very seriously, and is a shared responsibility of all employees at Gundersen.

One example of this is Gundersen’s current “Cut the Cup” employee challenge.  The goal of the challenge is to bring awareness to the number of disposable cups used at Gundersen, and to encourage employees to reduce their use of throw-away cups.  To participate in the challenge, employees must use reusable cups for the beverages they consume at work.  Employees are having fun with the challenge by taking creative photos of themselves using their reusable cups, and submitting them to a “show your mug” contest.  Every quarter, a prize is awarded to the employee with the most creative “mug shot”!  Check out some of the pictures below!

Are you doing anything at your workplace and/or home to support a healthy environment?  We want to hear about it!  Tell us by using the comment feature below this post.

Happy Earth Day!

Energy independence – see how we did it

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Gundersen Health System’s path to energy independence took two tracks – energy conservation and development of energy projects in cooperation with regional partners.

Watch this short video to see how Gundersen did it, project-by-project.

Students see Gundersen’s energy conservation projects in action

Biomass Gundersen Envision

Gundersen’s biomass boiler burns locally-sourced wood chips to create clean energy.

This summer’s University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Energy and the Earth” engaged thousands of people worldwide. However, UW students were given an opportunity to participate beyond the online forum when they visited Gundersen Health System to see Gundersen’s Envision energy conversation projects in action.

The students toured Envision’s dairy digester, biomass boiler, solar, wind, and geothermal heat pump projects, which represent Gundersen’s path to energy independence.

“It was incredible to see one organization using so many types of renewable energy,” said Anna Ostermeier. “I was impressed that so many of their initiatives were able to take off, despite the challenges. After learning about several energy technologies in the MOOC, it was interesting to see how they were put into practice.”

“They use leftover wood chips from nearby lumber mills to fuel a biomass digester and methane produced by a nearby landfill to fuel a generator,” said Brooke Marten, who is studying civil engineering. “They use what others may view as waste and turn it into useful energy. I hope other businesses follow in their footsteps.”

Gundersen reached its goal of energy independence last October and is helping other healthcare organizations realize how they too can become more energy independent.Envision speakers and consultants are available to come to you. Find out how!

Gundersen wins Amerinet Healthcare Achievement Award

Gundersen Health System’s Envision program will receive an Amerinet Healthcare Achievement Award in the category of Community Impact and Innovation for its recent achievement of energy independence.

Through this annual awards program, Amerinet, a leading national healthcare solutions organization, recognizes its members for their outstanding and innovative contributions to their patients, community and business partners in reducing healthcare costs, improving healthcare quality and serving the community.

Representatives from Gundersen will be presented with the award at a ceremony that will be held during the 2015 Amerinet Member Conference, May 17-20, in Orlando, Fla. The winning project will also be featured in a professional banner session and included in a best practices compendium.

Read the press release.

Find out how Gundersen Envision can help you achieve your energy goals.