Go green! Making your practice environmentally friendly
A typical dental practice features a variety of disposable plastics, sterilization chemicals and some high energy usage. By working to make your office as green as possible you can do your part to make the world a little cleaner and appeal to a growing market of environmentally-conscious patients.
According to the Eco-Dentistry Association, reducing the environmental impact of your dental practices is accomplished by:
- Trimming waste and pollution
- Conserving energy and water
- Utilizing technology to lower resource consumption
Say no to paper
Usher your practice into the digital world by reducing the use of paper. If you’re not already making use of electronic billing and patient files or using digital x-rays, now is a good time to consider updating your systems.
Kissing paper goodbye is a win-win for everyone. You’re making significant environmentally friendly changes in your practice while increasing your ability to be more responsive to your clients’ needs. Just be sure to factor in sufficient training for staff to avoid unnecessary stress and mistakes.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Reduce the amount of garbage you create by replacing disposable products with their reusable counterparts and recycle where possible. Cloth hand towels versus paper gives your public bathroom more of an upscale feel. Quality washable cloth bibs and lab coats will cut down on the garbage you send out each day.
Invest in a set of crockery and cutlery for the break room. Encourage staff to go straw free by using the available glasses instead of drinking their beverages through environmentally destructive plastic straws.
If you use disposable autoclave wraps, divide the wrappers into the plastic and paper portions for recycling. Better yet, swap them out for reusable steam sterilization pouches which can improve the impact your autoclave wraps have on the environment by 200%.
Implement an eco-friendly sterilization process
Opt for a steam sterilization system instead of using chemicals to clean your tools and workspace.
Become a pro at energy conservation
The same energy saving concepts that work at any other business can apply to a dental practice, too.
Swap out traditional bulbs for LEDs and train staff to turn out lights when not in use. A quick 5-minute check at closing to turn off machines and unnecessary lighting can cut your electric bill and be kinder to the environment.
Once you’ve implemented all of the above, find creative ways to let your patients know about it. They’ll be thrilled to learn all that you’ve done to improve your level of social responsibility.