RN: Real Nurses - Suzy Lawrence

Suzy Lawrence, a nurse in UNC Gynecologic Oncology, takes an environmentally aware approach to the way she lives.

RN: Real Nurses - Suzy Lawrence click to enlarge Suzy Lawrence describes how her passive solar house generates about as much electricity as it uses.

Written by Stephen Garrett for UNC Health Care

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Since we all celebrated Earth Day recently, we decided to take a different approach to our production of RN: Real Nurses this month.

This episode’s featured nurse, Suzy Lawrence, works in UNC Gynecologic Oncology. Suzy takes a different – environmentally aware – approach to the way she lives. She designed her own energy-efficient home, which she had built on her property outside of Carrboro, N.C. Her home incorporates “passive solar” design and uses solar panels to generate electricity. Some of the timbers from her own property were used in its construction. She is conscious of reducing her consumption, reusing things that can be reused, and recycling. She purchases many used household items instead of buying things new, or repurposes found items whenever possible. Suzy also spends a lot of time outdoors in her garden, cycling, boating, or just enjoying nature. Suzy frequently educates people about the environment at local events, sharing knowledge gained through years of living a more-sustainable lifestyle.

During this episode, producer Stephen Garrett attempts to play the part of “host”, which he finds out, is harder than it looks. Nathan Clendenin stays behind the camera in his normal role as cameraman and co-producer as Suzy takes Stephen on a tour of the Orange County Landfill and her beautiful home.

In the video, Suzy shares some basic tips about how to live a more sustainable lifestyle:

Tip # 1) Think it forward – Ask yourself what happens to materials that you discard. How does your use and disposal of things impact the environment?

Tip # 2) Think it backward – Ask yourself where your stuff comes from?  How is your food produced? What resources have been consumed to grow and transport it to you? Where do the things you buy come from? How were they made?

Tip # 3) Think about your impact and how to make a difference –  What simple lifestyle changes could you make right now that would have a positive impact on the environment? Can you reduce, reuse, or recycle things that you have been throwing away? Could you spend a little more time to educate yourself and others about the environment?

For more information, visit these links:

Information on recycling in Orange County, NC

The Story of Stuff

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle from the EPA

For more on Green Energy in North Carolina

Find out about your “ecological footprint”

“Smarter Living” from the Natural Resources Defense Council

Movies that Suzy recommends:

Carbon Nation

Dirt! The Movie

What a Way to Go: Life at the End of an Empire

Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization

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