US (MI): Hydroponic gardens spawn sustainability and nutrition conversations at hospital

Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital in Larium, Mich., recently served up free salads for all diners all day.

That day marked the first harvest from the hospital’s hydroponic garden, and staff were excited for customers to try the leafy greens they’d grown. In addition to the cafe line, lettuce was also given out to employees and hospital visitors.

In December, Aspirus Health hospitals in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where Larium is located, received their hydroponic gardens—officially bringing the gardens to the provider’s entire health system.

Maintaining hydroponic gardens was a system-wide initiative from Aspirus’ sustainability steering committee. The project was started with sustainability goals as well as improving patients’ nutrition in mind. (Aspirus aims to reduce its scope two greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2030 and cut its energy costs in half by 2050.)


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