Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How are hospitals going green?

Author's Note

I don't imagine that anyone actually enjoys a hospital stay, but some people have an almost visceral aversion to hospitals. I'm one of those people. My feelings are based on one particularly bad experience, which luckily for me, turned out OK. But it left me feeling suspicious of hospitals in general. The move toward "going green" in healthcare settings may be helping to change that suspicion. That's because these trends are not only ecologically sound, they make sense on a lot of other levels. Generally speaking, green initiatives save time and money and I'd be willing to bet they foster a deeper sense of connectedness to patients among the hospital staff. It seems logical that this could lead to better patient outcomes. Any institution that is dedicated to healing has a responsibility to maintain a healthy environment that supports patients and is well integrated with its community.

Related Articles


  • Bell, A. Seton Network Facilities. Personal interview. (April 14, 2012)
  • Camp, R. University of Virginia Health System. Personal correspondence. (April 14, 2012)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Public Health and Aging – United States and Worldwide." (April 14, 2012)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "Electronic Health Records." (April 14, 2012)
  • Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. "Dell Children's is Green." (April 14, 2012)
  • Energy Star. "Saving Water Counts in Energy Efficiency." (April 14, 2012)
  • EPA. "An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)." (April 14, 2012)
  • Health Facilities Management. "2011 Hospital Energy Management Survey." (April 14, 2012)
  • Inhabitant. "New Laguna Honda is California's First Green-Certified Hospital." (April 14, 2012)'s-first-leed-certified-hospital/
  • McGee, Marianne Kolbasuk. "IT Decisions Hang On Supreme Court Healthcare Ruling." InformationWeek. (April 14, 2012).
  • Practice Greenhealth. "Waste." (April 14, 2012)
  • Sustainability Roadmap. "Waste." (April 14, 2012)
  • US Energy Information Administration. "Consumption and efficiency." (April 14, 2012)
  • US Green Building Council. "LEED for Healthcare." (April 14, 2012).
  • Weisel, Sonja. "Texas Hospital Turns Green." Children's Hospital Today. (April 14, 2012)