Did you know every year we add 193 million tons of plastic to the world, and it takes about 350 years for aluminum to decompose? Did you know you can make a difference? When we discuss your dental business consulting, one of the first key factors to maintaining a successful practice is to convert and encourage green dentistry.
Converting your dental practice to green dentistry can make a significant impact on the environment and human health, and there are countless ways to take the steps necessary to slowly adapt. The American Dental Association has listed countless ways your practice can go green, and you can convert to green dentistry by following these four categories: waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, and pollution prevention.
- Recycle ALL aluminum, glass, and plastic.
- Reuse or recycle paper and cardboard.
- If traditional x-rays are taken, recycle fixer, developer solutions, and lead foil.
- Go paperless! Use electronics for paperwork, budget, paying bills, and marketing instead of paper (patients can fill out forms on an iPad).
- Send appointment reminders through email, text messages, or recycled paper.
- Replace high-energy office lights to energy-efficient fluorescent lighting.
- Install programmable thermostats.
- Add reflective glass (low E) windows.
- Turn off your computer when you leave the office for the day.
- Install ceiling fans where appropriate.
- Install skylights to enhance lighting and keep it energy free.
- Install low flow aerators on sinks.
- Install water-saving toilets (maximum of 1.28 gpf) including low-flush and dual-flush toilets.
- Use a water-free hand disinfectant to clean hands.
- Check office for leaks every six months.
- Review your water bill monthly for spikes, and think of ways to reduce water waste.
- Encourage your staff to bike, walk, or carpool to work.
- Take public transportation.
- Use only low toxic cleaning products.
- Replace all aerosols with pump dispensers.
- Use steam sterilization.
This is just a handful of the many ways you can convert your practice into a green environment. The ADA has listed 150 ways for your practice to go green and even the tiniest step can make the biggest difference to our environment.
What have you done to your practice to better the environment? Share your thoughts below!