In 2008, Carolina banned smoking within 100 feet of all buildings. Smoking inside buildings is also banned. This was a significant step forward in improving public health.
In many campus departments, from chemistry to housekeeping to the service station, the introduction of less toxic materials is reducing physical exposure to harmful chemicals. As of December 31, 2009, all non-essential uses of mercury were eliminate from campus. Green Seal-certified cleaning products used by Wellness housekeepers reduce health impacts on employees and building occupants. They also reduce environmental impacts from manufacturing through use and disposal. At the service station, solvents used to clean vehicles are now primarily water based rather than petroleum based.
As part of its 2011 Strategic Plan, the Facility Services redoubled its commitment to responsible purchasing. Focus recently has been on reducing the amount of volatile organic compounds given off by paints & office supplies. The reduction of these compounds helps to improve indoor air quality at UNC. In 2012, EHS implemented a Dangerous Gas Policy to establish minimum requirements and safety measures for employees working with volatile gases. EHS also trained more than 250 researchers in fume hood safety, which will improve air quality and public health.
The Work Well, Live Well Expo for employees features interactive exhibits on nutrition, fitness, recreation, and other aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Attendees can obtain free health screenings, take fitness classes, and watch healthy cooking demonstrations. UNC has been smoke-free since 2008.
Recreation memberships for University employees are only $150 annually. Employees at the School of Nursing have access to an onsite fitness center. At the Gillings School of Global Public Health, two walkstations enable employees to walk while conducting one-on-one meetings or working at adjustable height desks. Staff at Active Living by Design walk-the-talk by participating in an office-wide recreational activity every Friday afternoon. Miles of campus walkways are increasingly connected to adjacent greenways, including a new one being constructed at the Carolina North property.
At the dining halls, vegan and vegetarian meals are always available. Transfats have been eliminated and nutritional information is provided at kiosks, individual serving stations, and online. Low-fat menus are posted at lunch and dinner, and individual low-fat items are identified with “Eat Well Live Well” labels. Residential dining hall stations display menu items on digital screens in lieu of paper signage, thus saving time, money, and resources. The website and kiosks contain nutritional information and allergen content.
Carolina Dining Services also employs a registered dietician who can help students to make smart and healthy food choices and guides students in weight management and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. The dietician is available for tours, lectures, and cooking demos.