Environmental Factor, May 2010, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Sustaining a Healthy Planet and Healthy People
By Laura Hall
During the month of May, NIEHS will provide many opportunities for staff to learn about what is being done at the institute and what they can do at home for environmental sustainability -- and about sustaining a healthy lifestyle.
May is Bike-to-Work Month and there will be NIEHS and local events to encourage alternate transportation. Bike riders who log days and miles cycled will receive prizes for the longest bike ride, the most days cycled, and the most miles cycled.
Audra Foree from Triangle Transit will be on-site on May 4 to promote the SmartCommute Challenge(http://www.smartcommutechallenge.org/aboutChallenge.html) , an annual campaign to encourage Triangle commuters to try alternative transportation to single-occupied vehicles for their commute to work. The Challenge is a commitment to try alternate transportation for one day during the sign-up period, which ends May 15. Employees will have an opportunity to sign up to take the challenge and enter a pool to win prizes, including iPods and vacations.
In addition, each week in May will have a different focus on sustainability:
- May 3-7 Health and Fitness Week (see story)
- May 10-14 Energy and Water Conservation Week
- May 17-21 Environmental Management System Week
- May 26 Farmer's Fair
One of five areas will be covered each day of the Energy and Water Conservation Week:
- Central utility plant
- Campus-wide projects
- Laboratories, offices, and animal facilities
- Homes, including government and utility efficiency programs available
- Executive Order (E.O.) 13514
E.O. 13514 involves an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the Federal government. NIEHS personnel will learn how they will be impacted by this executive order.
During the Environmental Management System Week, the NIEHS family will have the opportunity to learn more about how their work activities impact the environment. There will be information on how to reduce environmental impacts on air and water of the waste produced and of the travel associated with daily work and facility operations. There will also be tours of the NIEHS waste-handling facility.
These events were organized by members of the NIEHS Office of Management -- the Health and Fitness Organizing Committee, the Operations and Security Branch, the Health and Safety Branch -- the Facilities Operations Branch and Office of Research Facilities of the NIH Office of the Director, and the volunteers of the NIEHS Environmental Awareness Advisory Committee. More specific information on these events will be available in flyers and emails to the NIEHS community.
(Laura Hall is a biologist in the NIEHS Laboratory of Toxicology and Pharmacology currently on detail as a writer for the Environmental Factor.)
Highlighted Sustainability Month Events
- May 3 "Taking Steps to Your Health Contest Kickoff", 9:00 - 10:00 am, fitness room
- May 3 NIEHS Bicycle Maintenance Clinic, 1:00 - 1:30 pm, Bldg. 101 front patio
- May 4 SmartCommute Challenge Sign-up, Bldg. 101 cafeteria
- May 5 "Rogathan" 5K Run and 2 Mile Nature Walk, 9:30 - 10:30 am
- May 6 Bike to Work Event at NIEHS, 7:30 - 8:45 am, Bldg. 101 front entrance
- May 13 Central Utility Plant Tours
- May 14 NIEHS Rooftop Solar Array Tours
- May 20 Building 108 Waste Handling Facility Tours
- May 26 Farmers' Fair, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, Bldg. 101 lakeside patio