80 Ways to Make Your Dental Practice Green
Environmental consciousness is more than a trend; it’s a necessity. Many companies, regardless of size, are embracing green dental practices to reduce waste and save energy. Has your dental practice adopted any green policies? Getting started is simple if you haven’t already, with plenty of free or cost-effective ideas available.
The Modern Dentist – Homer Glen has shared 80 eco-friendly tips to help you. While some are general green suggestions, most are customized for your dental practice. They are organized into categories like “Being Proactive” and “Educating Your Staff and Patients” for easy reference. Take a moment to choose one initiative to focus on this week. Even a small change can make a big impact on the environment over time.
- Implement an eco-friendly sterilization program.
- Install an amalgam separator.
- Eliminate aerosol products.
- Arrange the workspace to optimize the flow of natural light and airflow.
- Walk, bike, or take public transportation to work.
- Consider stocking all-natural oral care products, from toothpaste to mouthwash.
- Enroll in your energy company’s summer energy savings program.
- Partners with businesses that prioritize sustainability, such as a green bank, a recycling service, or a green architect/engineer for office design.
- Remind people of their appointments by text message, email, or recyclable paper.
- Consider installing linoleum for flooring.
- Purchase organic or eco-friendly scrubs.
- Carpool to work with colleagues.
- Ask to be struck off of the office junk mail mailing list.
- Place indoor plants around the office.
- Bring meals to work in reusable containers.
- Replace the ceiling return air vents used for heating and cooling with floor return air vents in the winter.
- Hand out patient giveaways in degradable plastic bags.
Install energy-efficient products
- Add a dimmer lighting system to save electricity and adjust light based on natural light.
- Save on heating with a programmable thermostat.
- Purchase reflective glass (low-E) windows.
- Install mini-fluorescent fixtures.
- Invest in a central vacuum with no water usage and an amalgam trap.
- Switch to water-saving toilets.
- Use sensor-operated faucets and/or low-flow faucets and fixtures.
- Install energy-efficient appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc.).
- Invest in solar electric panels and water heaters.
- Hook up motion detectors and timers for lights.
- Use hot air dryers in washrooms instead of paper towels.
- Use smart power strips for electronics.
- Cover chairs with organic bamboo and organic cotton.
- Ensure environmentally friendly cabinetry (no added urea-formaldehyde).
- Use biodegradable ceiling and/or wall panels.
- Add a trash compactor.
- Caulk office windows, apply weather-stripping, or replace them with energy-efficient models.
- Replace the old 30-gallon hot water heater with an efficient 10-gallon model.
Switch to environmentally friendly products
- Purchasing paint devoid of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is advised.
- Purchase office furniture made from recycled or reclaimed wood.
- Choose reusable stainless steel high- and low-volume, surgical/endodontic suction tips instead of disposable plastic.
- Instead of using single-use plastic irrigation syringes, keep reusable glass ones on hand.
- Place an order for disposable biodegradable cups rather than standard paper cups.
- Instead of using conventional paper goods, exclusively use high post-consumer recycled paper products that are chlorine-free.
- Make it mandatory to utilize paper, plastic, or disposable barriers only when absolutely essential.
- Replace your disposable prophy-containing cups with stainless steel prophy heads.
- Buy LCD computer screens instead of CRT screens.
- Place water-free hand disinfectant around the office.
- Drink tap water, not bottled water.
- Use shredded paper for packaging material.
- Invest in recyclable business cards, fax paper, envelopes, and letterhead stationery.
- To increase energy efficiency, hang exit signs that are electroluminescent (LEC) or LED.
- To encourage airflow and lessen the demand for air conditioning, use ceiling fans.
- To clean and sterilize, use surface disinfectants that are less toxic.
- Acquire sealants, adhesives, and further restorative materials in quantities that enable the entire contents to be utilized during the process.
Recycle and reuse
- The “big five” should be recycled: steel, aluminum, glass, plastic, and paper.
- Should conventional radiography be conducted, reuse lead foil, fixer, and developer solutions.
- Cartridge refills or recycling
- To promote recycling and reuse, clearly mark recycling containers in locations that are accessible to patients and staff.
- Recycle electronics and computer parts.
- Replace and recycle the vacuum pump filter screens at least once a month, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Have your amalgam wastes removed by a certified recycling contractor or hazardous waste hauler.
- Rechargeable battery reuse
- When using denim and reclaimed sheetrock for acoustical insulation
- You should replace or clean the filter on your air conditioner or heater.
Save energy and other resources
- Energy-efficient fluorescent lighting should be used in place of high-energy-consuming office lights.
- Examine the federal, state, and municipal tax breaks available for earning Certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- When you finish your workday at the office, turn off your computer.
- Become paperless: Utilise a virtual office system for radiography, invoicing, and patient documentation.
- Think about powering your devices using electricity produced by windmills.
- Only fill the dishwasher before running it.
- Online practice bill payment
- Reducing the number of printers in use and, whenever feasible, printing on both sides of the page
- Conduct a mock energy audit.
- Take the TVs out of the waiting area.
- Make use of digital copies of publications and journals.
- Remove devices that draw current even when they are “turned off” and go to sleep when in standby mode.
- Turn off the water as you lather up to wash your hands.
- Think about using solar chargers to power laptops, PDAs, cell phones, and other devices.
Teach your employees and patients.
- As your patients brush, remind them to turn off the tap.
- Distribute leaflets with eco-friendly advice to patients in the waiting area.
- Place notices promoting water saving in break areas and practice restrooms.
The Modern Dentist – Homer Glen leads in dental sustainability with 80 eco-friendly initiatives. Amidst a dental office renovation in Homer Glen, IL, they embrace an eco-friendly sterilization program, amalgam separators, sensor-operated faucets, and energy-efficient appliances. Utilizing reusable materials, biodegradable cups, and recycling lead foil, fixer, and developer solutions, the practice prioritizes conscious consumption. Energy-saving measures include efficient lighting, and staff and patient education initiatives promote water conservation. The ongoing renovation showcases how small changes can create a greener, more sustainable dental practice.
Crafting a dental environment that prioritizes sustainability not only contributes to a healthier planet but also fosters a flourishing dental practice. As we enter the New Year, there is a chance to set an example by establishing an eco-friendly sanctuary that resonates with patients and makes a lasting positive difference. For a green and sustainable dental practice buildout in Homer Glen, IL, seek guidance from a dental office contractor.