UTMB celebrates Earth Day

May 22, 2017, 07:55 AM by Simone Parker
Earth Day 655
If you’re looking for ways to go green, look no further than UTMB. The university is ranked No. 2 in paper recycling and No. 3 in cardboard recycling among higher education institutions nationwide.

Angela McDowell works with Sustainability Services and says these accomplishments are part of an environmental movement and message that has spread throughout the institution. She is thankful to all employees for their efforts to reduce waste and adopt eco-friendly practices in their day-to- day work.

“We’re very excited about the recycling programs that we have at UTMB and the impact they’re having,” said McDowell, who recently joined UTMB as sustainability coordinator. “We’re working with each department to promote sustainability initiatives, including the 3Rs—reduce, reuse and recycle.”

UTMB employees celebrated sustainability together at the university’s 25th annual Earth Day Festival on April 21 on the Galveston Campus. Approximately 1,500 people attended the event, which featured live music, food trucks, kid-friendly activities, pet adoptions, earth-friendly exhibits and the popular “Recycle In Style” fashion show.

“Each year, UTMB employees showcase their outfits made from recycled and reusable products like duct tape, film strips and compact discs,” said McDowell. “The fashion show is always a big hit.”

This year’s winner was “Recycle Girl,” a.k.a. Cleo Glover, a patient care facilitator at UTMB-TDCJ Hospital Galveston. Glover designed her costume with a friend and colleague, Rachelle Jones-Lipscomb, a health unit coordinator with Hospital Galveston.

“I’m a Wonder Woman fan and that’s where we got the superhero idea for the outfit,” said Glover. “We designed a few accessories—a cape, boots, belt and wrist cuffs made from recycled medicine cups which are covered in foam and foil paper. I’m thrilled that we won.”

The annual festival was started by Ken Steblein, a UTMB employee who lost his battle with cancer a year ago. Organizers say the event is more than just a one-day celebration, it is a call to action—to encourage people to keep our planet healthy while honoring the legacy of Steblein.

The theme of this year’s celebration was “Elements of Education for a Healthy Earth.” Mary Ellen Beaupre, a student life coordinator with the School of Health Professions, Office of Academic and Student Affairs, won first place in UTMB’s Earth Day art contest and her drawing was featured on this year’s Earth Day t-shirt.

To see more pictures from this year’s event, visit UTMB’s Flickr account at www.flickr.com/photos/utmb/ albums/72157683459594755.