UW Health's Green STEPS efforts - Simple Things, Eco-Positive Solutions - aim to enhance indoor and outdoor spaces, recycling practices, waste management and more, with the goal of sustaining a healthy environment in and around our spaces, and within the community.
Our employees and faculty often have great tips and ideas on how to green your work and home life. Here are a few:
"I converted a large area of lawn to native plants including groundcovers, bushes, trees, flowers, grasses and sedges, and installed a rain garden channeling roof run-off water with buried extension from gutters. I rarely have to water, weed or fertilize plants, do not use any chemicals and spend much less time mowing the remaining area of lawn. The native plants are hardy and attract birds, butterflies and beneficial insects. I would love to see other community members and companies in Wisconsin using same concepts in place of non-native plants."
A Use for Used Coffee Grounds
"I am an avid coffee drinker and make a pot of coffee each morning. I have always disliked the idea of throwing coffee grounds into the trash when they could possibly be composted. After doing some research, I found that coffee grounds are an excellent fertilizer for flower beds and gardens. I now throw my used coffee grounds into a bucket to dry and each week. I sprinkle them into my gardens and my plants seem to love it. If you're not an avid coffee drinker but you live near a coffee shop or café, you can always ask them for the old grounds. Places like Starbucks actually give bags of used grounds away to people who use them for their home and gardens. Recycling is just one way that we can help maintain the natural beauty of our environment, so next time you drink a cup of coffee save those coffee grounds for future use!"
A Creative Use for Empty Water Bottles
"When you need to use disposable water bottles, find ways to reuse them. For example, cut the top off of the water bottle. Use the bottom part to start your plants in and then transplant them outside. Use the neck and top, Insert the plastic bag through the neck and screw the top - to seal. The bottle is made to be air-tight, such that water will not leak."