Improving the environment
Our health and the environment are inextricably linked.
At Tidelands Health, we believe that fulfilling our mission to help people live better lives through better health means we must be stewards of our environment. We strive to minimize our environmental impact by limiting our energy consumption, using environmentally sound products and through our recycling efforts.
Protecting the ocean
In October 2018, Tidelands Health became one of the first health systems along the East Coast to replace plastic straws and stirrers with paper and wood alternatives. The goal of the effort was to reduce consumption of single-use plastic products that can make their way into the ocean and contribute to landfill waste. Paper and wood products are naturally biodegradable and compostable.
Each year, the health system uses approximately 45,000 straws and 24,000 stirrers, the equivalent of about 7.5 miles of the products laid end to end.
LED lighting is one of the most energy-efficient lighting technologies. Quality LED lights use at less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent alternatives.
To leverage those benefits, Tidelands Health has spent more than $2 million replacing all overhead and exterior lighting at each of the health system’s care locations with LED alternatives.
Through efforts like those undertaken at Tidelands Health, the federal government projects that LED usage could save our country the annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants and produce a total savings of more than $30 billion by 2027.
Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, conserves natural resources, prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials and helps support jobs.
For all those reasons and more, Tidelands Health recycles a wide range of products ranging from cooking oil used in the health system’s hospitals to batteries and cardboard. Even certain medical equipment such as pulse oximeters is recycled.
Transportation is a leading cause of pollution.
Fossil-fueled powered vehicles are major contributors to air pollution and create emissions that harm the environment.
One way to help reduce our dependence on such vehicles is to use alternate forms of transportation, such as walking or bicycling. A 2014 report by the U.S. Census Bureau found the number of people traveling to work by bicycle increased approximately 60 percent over the preceding decade.
At Tidelands Health, we are promoting alternate forms of transportation – and physical exercise - through our support of new multi-purpose trails within the region.
A new path under construction at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital will serve as a major component of the new Inlet to Intracoastal Multipurpose Path being developed by Murrells Inlet 2020. Once complete, the new path will create a vital link for walkers, bikers and runners to travel between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk.
The health system is also constructing a second trail around the perimeter of Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital.