Looking to Help Your Practice Go Green? Try These 10 Easy Tips
Becoming the AADOM National Green Leader in 2017 was probably one of the proudest moments in my career!
In 2016, our practice had just built a 5,200 square foot office and planned to add as many green solutions to the building as possible.
We wanted to do our part in reducing our environmental footprint and optimize wellness for our team and patients.
Looking for ways to help your practice go green?
Here are 10 easy changes we made to make it happen:
1. Invest in a recycling bin.
Our team sat down and listed out what items could be recycled and then we consciously made it a commitment to do so.
2. Reduce paper towels in restrooms and hallway sinks.
We replaced them with hand towels that we wash, dry, and reuse. This cut down on paper products by over half.
3. Use essential oil therapy
We added essential oil therapy in the form of diffusers throughout the common areas and restrooms, as well as provide patients with a scented neck pillow to help with anxiety.
4. Let in the natural light
We installed wall to ceiling windows to allow for natural light and reduced electricity use. We also “shut down” lights and power during lunch breaks.
5. Place plants throughout the office.
Plants add oxygen and clean the air. Plus, patients really enjoy the live plant wall as they enter the practice.
6. Install air quality monitors
We installed a purple air monitor…Opens in a new window to PurpleAir Homepage… for the practice. This device monitors the air quality and reports it in real-time to the public. We have the only ones in our county.
7. Install an amalgam separator.
This removes amalgam particles from the wastewater to reduce the amount of amalgam (and mercury) entering the sewer systems and water supply.
8. Go paperless
We were already a paperless office, sending both electronic statements and text reminders to our patients.
9. Go digital
We’ve been a digital office for over 10 years. This investment minimizes radiation exposure to patients and reduces the need for using toxic radiograph fixer and developer chemicals, as well as lead waste.
10. Choose environmentally friendly, non-toxic paint and furnishings
When choosing paints, we went with low VOC, (volatile organic compounds), which don’t off-gas as much as traditional paint solutions.
We were also deliberate with our furnishing choices, selecting flooring made from natural materials and custom formaldehyde-free cabinetry.
What are you doing to help your practice go green this year?
These are just a few ideas to keep in mind if you’re building or updating a practice with a “green” thumb.
What really set this process apart was our team!
Their support and desire to consciously incorporate these environmentally-savvy changes make us a happy, healthy, and productive practice to work in.
Meet the Author
Ruby began her dental career in 1990 in the United States Navy. In 2004 she became a dental office manager for the first time, when the wife of the dentist put her there to “figure it out” on her own. In 2015 she “sipped the Kool-Aid” by attending her first AADOM meeting. By 2016 she had her AADOM Fellowship and was awarded an AADOM Green Leader in 2017. Ruby’s been nominated two times for Practice Manager of the Year.