'Green Team' Gets Mean About Emissions

Nursing School employees make video as part of Green Devil Smackdown

When Mitchell Vann heard the call for a little "trash talk," he and other Duke community members from the School of Nursing stepped up to the challenge.

Along with team members and Andrew Buchanan, multimedia and user services specialist at the School of Nursing, Vann and the group shot "Green Devils Video," a humorous take on the wrestling-themed Green Devil Smackdown. The one-minute video features employees dressed up in nursing scrubs, exclaiming why they're sustainable.

"I'm going green because I want to be able to breathe clean and free," shouts Stefanie Conrad, senior public relations specialist for the School of Nursing.

Vann, the director of Facility Operations at the School of Nursing, is among a dozen members of the "DUSON Green Team," a group of Duke staff, faculty and students participating in the Green Devil Smackdown, the team-based sustainability competition. When Vann came across a video produced for Duke's Sustainability Office to promote the Smackdown with a call for some friendly trash talk, he knew it was something he and others could have fun with.

"We didn't really use a script - we just wanted to give each person an opportunity to do a cameo and give a reason why being 'green' was important to them," Vann said. "Everyone on the team contributed an idea and it's something we're really proud of. It definitely motivates us. Hopefully it'll motivate others."

Vann and his teammates encourage other faculty and staff at the School of Nursing to get involved in the Smackdown by taking Duke's sustainability pledge and using the carbon calculator. In the third week of the competition, the DUSON Green Team is in second place with 628 average points per team member. The "Karate Elite Force Champions" lead all teams with 734 points per participant.

"Once you get started, it's easy to see how small actions can make a big difference," Vann said. "The Smackdown is making it very easy for all of us to do a little bit and help out."