Doing their part for sustainability: Video series Part II

By Michael Cohen and Bryan Goodchild

UMass Medical School Communications

October 19, 2012

With the new academic year in full swing, students, faculty and staff at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center are encouraged to think about the environmental impact of everyday decisions they make on campus.

At the macro level, the institution is working on a range of projects to upgrade buildings and systems on campus to make them more efficient. While those larger projects are important, it is the individual acts, such as recycling or reducing energy usage, that have a major impact on sustainable practices.

To encourage community action, the UMMS Sustainability Committee is asking everyone on campus to take a simple pledge and to affirm these statements:

  • I will recycle my paper, cardboard, bottles, cans and batteries
  • I will turn off lights when leaving an office or conference room
  • I will turn off my computer, monitor and/or printer at the end of the day
  • I will use a reusable water bottle and/or mug at work
  • I will change my printer settings to print double-sided (duplex)

“People shouldn’t discount the importance of individual actions, and the routines that we all build over time,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy manager. “Taking the pledge is quick, but implementing it every day is how we make progress as a community.”

Anyone with a UMass Medical School or UMass Memorial email can take the pledge at this site: Doing my part. Every month, one person who takes the pledge will be selected at random to receive a gift basket of sustainable products.

Facebook users who take the pledge are encouraged to “like” the School’s sustainability page ( and become an active participant on that page, sharing their ideas and experiences about sustainable practices, both at work and at home.

In this video, Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medicine, executive deputy chancellor, provost, dean of the School of Medicine and professor of pediatrics; Melissa Moore, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator,the Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair in Cancer Research and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology; and Phillip Zamore, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Gretchen Stone Cook Chair of Biomedical Sciences and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, discuss their motivation for taking the pledge to further a more sustainable environment.

Related stories and videos on UMassMedNow:

Hundreds take pledge to ‘do my part’ for sustainability