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NIH Environmental Management System

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NIH Earth Day 2024

​Staff from many campuses are busy planning another fantastic Earth Day event for 2024! The activities for this year's Earth Day event will be updated below as details are finalized, so please check back regularly for updated con​tent. Please send any questions regarding Earth Day activities to the Green NIH email account.

Bethesda Campus:
The Bethesda campus in-person event is planned in coordination with​ NIH Take Your Child To Work Day (TYCTWD) for Thursday, April 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the Building 1 Front Lawn. ​​Activities will be available for both children and NIH staff, covering a variety of environmental topics with a focus on this year's theme Planet vs. Plastics. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the impact of plastic waste on our health and wellbeing, and test their knowledge of strategies available on-campus and at home that help combat plastic pollution. The full activity details are listed below:
  • Buzzing with Honey Bees: Find out what all the buzz is about with the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association! Try and spot the queen bee among all the workers from an observation hive while learning about the crucial service pollinators provide and what we can do to protect them.
  • Composting Like a Worm: Join NICHD to learn about composting and the role worms play in this process. Ask Jeremy Wormy, our talkative worm friend, questions about composting face-to-face!
  • Direct Donation Program and NIH FreeStuff: Bringing greater awareness to the NIH community about the Direct Donation Program, which brings NIH surplused items to grade schools.
  • Electric Vehicle Display: Come see a display of electric vehicles and learn about their features. The owners of the vehicles are NIH staff that are very knowledgeable of commuting logistics, EV best practices and can answer questions about owning or operating an EV!
  • Enter the HHS Kids' Earth Day Poster Contest viewing experience: Immerse yourself in the creative process and see the Earth Day theme Planet vs. Plastics communicated through art with the NIH submissions! 
  • Exercise your Green Thumb: Learn from the Montgomery County Master Gardeners, University of Maryland Extension how to create a simple container garden and get a head start on the spring planting season! Also, check-in to learn more about the Medicinal Herb Garden located at the National Library of Science - open and available for visits for inspiration and meditation.​
  • Guided Tour of the NIH Stream: Perfect for those looking for a grounding experience among the Bethesda campus wildlife. Each tour (beginning at 11:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m.) is led by incredibly knowledgeable staff, providing a detailed overview of the campus critters and creeks, just beyond the street. Discover how the stream can affect stormwater management, local wildlife habitats, pollution and more. The tour will start and conclude at the Building 1 Front Lawn flagpole (approximately 45 minutes to complete). All tours will leave promptly at the designated time. Capacity will be subject to Tour Guide discretion.​
  • Investigate Radioactivity with ORS/Division of Radiation Safety: Discover the properties of radioactive materials and the effects of radiation through a series of hands-on activities where participants learn how to detect radiation and how to protect yourself from it!
  • It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing: Join the NIDCD Green Team to learn about the national public education campaign designed to increase awareness about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss. Spin the “Noisy Planet” wheel to test your knowledge on how to protect your hearing from loud sounds and noise pollution.
  • Leaf Your Mark with a Pledge: Stop by the ORF/ORS Green Team Pledge Tree​ and share how you pledge to protect the environment!​
  • Listen & Learn with Local Wildlife Society: Learn about wildlife conservation with the Maryland Reptile Conservation Center! Display will feature live animals with their trained handlers, sharing approaches we can take to protect endangered animals and our environment.
  • Managing Waste at the NIH: Learn about waste management at the NIH while playing a fun recycling game! OD/ORF/DEP staff will describe the many waste and recycling programs available on the Bethesda campus and answer any questions. Come grab a recycling bin for your office!
  • NIH Supply Center: Learn how the NIH Supply Center helps labs stay green through word searches, coloring, and more!
  • ​Reduce Plastic Waste in the Community: Learn how to reduce plastic waste with the ORS/Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS)! Win prizes by spinning the NIH Trivia Wheel and correctly answering questions about reducing the use of plastics in our everyday life. The display will also feature information on NIH services available to NIH personnel, Bucky Beaver Lab safety coloring books, and DOHS informational brochures.​
  • ​Risk or Reward Recycling Challenge: Discover which items can be recycled with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. Play educational games related to waste and recycling to win a prize!
  • Seedling Giveaway: Join the Office of Research Facilities, Division of Environmental Protection to learn about the importance of ecosystem health and how to grow your very own River Birch or Flowering Dogwood seedling at home, courtesy of the NIH Federal Credit Union. *while supplies last
  • ​​Sort Your Waste: Learn how to separate your waste between trash, recycling and compost with the Alice Ferguson Foundation. We will also ​look at the time it takes for some common waste materials to breakdown in a landfill or composting pile.
  • Stormwater Management 101: Learn how stormwater runoff affects pollution with the EnviroScape model! Add pollution to the 3-D landscape, then simulate rain with a spray bottle to see what happens!
  • Track the Plastic Trail: This year's Earth Day theme, Planet vs. Plastics, calls to advocate for widespread awareness on the health risks of plastics and what we can do to combat plastic waste. The interactive, self-guided, self-paced activity will take you on a journey as you work to decipher the many stages plastics travel through and the possible routes they can take at the NIH Bethesda campus and beyond.

Bayview Campus:
On ​Friday, April 26, 2024 (10am-2pm), the Bayview campus will celebrate its 2024 Earth Day Recycling Event on the 2nd floor of the BRC (along the loading dock corridor). In the spirit of recycling, reusing and reducing waste, the Gaithersburg Distribution Center (GDC) will provide pickup services from the BRC for surplus property. Employees can donate items such as the following:
  • Keyboards
  • Power Strips
  • ​​Refrigerators
  • Software-PCO
  • Cables
  • PC-related accessories (No storage devices)
  • Computer Mouse(s)
  • ​​Small Electronics
  • Computer Wires
  • File Cabinets
  • Chairs
  • Furniture
  • Monitors
  • Microwave Ovens
  • Speakers
  • ​Furniture (Contact PCO in advance for removal)
  • LAN Phones and Phone Chargers
No chemical-containing equipment will be accepted. For all items going to the GDC, please contact your PCO. When transporting your items to the collection area, please use the freight elevators. All equipment containing data storage drives must be sent to BIS to be sanitized. If there are any questions, please feel free to contact LCDR James Pitt​.

Research Triangle Park:
​The Earth Day events for NIEHS on the RTP campus are as follows:
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​Thursday, April 18, 3-5 p.m. – Take a Tree Walk with Leaf & Limb
  • Join Cisco and other RTP companies for a Tree Walk to learn about various tree species, their ecological importance, and their role in our environment with Leaf & Limb’s Master Arborist Matt Archibald.
  • Meet at the RFF Volleyball Courts at 6633 Louis Stephens Dr., Cary, NC 27519 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Finish with a social event at the Boxyard at around 4 p.m., which will include a free tree sapling giveaway while supplies last.
  • Contact Jordan Hart-White at Cisco with questions.
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Earth Day! Monday, April 22, 11 a.m. to noonCANCELLED: “Plastics Recycling In North Carolina – Where Are We Now?”
  • ​Dick Sloane, Waste Reduction Partners, will present via Zoom.
  • Sponsored by the Environmental Awareness and Advisory Committee.​
Monday, April 22-Friday, April 26: Surplus Your Desktop Printer During Toss-it Week
  • ​Surplusing unused desktop printers frees up space, conserves resources, and helps NIEHS continue the trend toward a sustainable future.
  • Toss-It Week makes printer surplus convenient and efficient, with limited actions required on your part. Excess print cartridges can also be picked up with your surplus printer.
  • Contact Bill Steinmetz with printer/paper reduction questions, and the Warehouse Team with Toss-it Week questions.
Tuesday, April 23, 10 a.m. – noon: Medication Take-Back
  • ​​Event will be held in the Building 101 Lobby​.
  • Durham County Sheriff’s Office will be onsite to accept expired/unwanted medication from personnel for safe and environmentally responsible disposal.
  • Contact Paul Johnson with questions.
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Thursday, April 25, 1-2 p.m. – “How to Use ACT: an Ecolabel by My Green Lab”
​Friday, April 26, 2-3 p.m. – Join PRIDE@NIEHS for an Earth Day-themed social
  • ​Event will be held in the NIEHS Café and is open to all.
  • Enjoy some friendly competition, “green thumb” prizes and refreshments.
  • No government funds will be used for this event. Contact Justin Kosak with questions.
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Tuesday, April 30, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Donate at the RTP Foundation’s Personal Electronics Recycling Drive-Thru
  • ​Event will take place at 300 Park Offices Dr., RTP, 27709.
  • Reminder: only personal property may be donated. For excess government property, see Surplus and Surplusing.
  • Proceeds will benefit the Kramden Institute, a Durham based charitable organization that provides technology tools and training to bridge the digital divide.​​

Ft. Detrick:
​The NCI Frederick Green Team is holding an email-driven nature photo contest campus-wide for Earth Day at Ft. Detrick. There will also be a plant swap held by the Green Team during the week of Earth Day. Please contact Kylee Stenersen​ if you would like more details.​

Contact NEMS

We look forward to hearing from you. Reach out to us in an email.