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Spring’s arrival brings tiny buds that grow into verdant leaves, and grass that grows greener by the day. As the calendar turns to April and nature continues greening up, Earth Day reminds us of our shared responsibility to take steps toward a “greener” planet.
A quick search will show you green dentistry is much more than a trend, with tips, advice and examples of practices that are doing it well just a few mouse clicks away. While recycling gets the most attention and is often the easiest to implement, the first 2 R’s – reduce and reuse – are more effective, according to the EDA.
If you’re wondering how to take that next, green step, we’ve pulled together four quick tips.
1. Go paperless
Electronic forms, patient portals and automated appointment reminders via text message make it easier than ever to reduce your reliance on paper. Not only are these software solutions kinder on the environment, but surveys also indicate patients overwhelmingly prefer electronic forms. It could be time to bid goodbye to the clipboards and replace that mason jar of silk flowers taped to ballpoint pens.
2. Cut back on single-use plastics
Asepsis will always be a primary concern, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a dent in your plastic waste. Frequently used items such as surface barriers, plastic cups, and patient giveaway bags all have eco-conscious, biodegradable, or reusable options.
3. Minimize hazardous and chemical waste
Due to the amount of mercury dental practices contribute to wastewater, most practices are already required to have amalgam separators. Another way to help is to consider more environmentally friendly alternatives to amalgam restorations. Still another way to make an impact is to rely on digital imagery over traditional film X-rays.
4. Consolidate orders and order in bulk
This might be the simplest way of all for your practice – and for us at Patterson – to make a positive impact on the planet. Simply put, combining orders means less packaging and fewer transportation emissions. Soon, you’ll be seeing materials from “Our floss-ophy: less waste” campaign. We’ll share more about our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. In the meantime, check out our Go Green webpage experience for more about our commitment to sustainability, and all the ways you can get involved.
Because we couldn’t stop at just four, here are a few more ideas: switch to LED lighting; consider using all-natural oral care products; purchase organic or eco-friendly scrubs; brighten up the office with indoor plants. This Earth Day and beyond, we’re committed to being your trusted, ever-greener partner.
Eco-Dentistry Association. Green dentistry
Patterson Off the Cusp. Green Dentistry: Safeguarding the Environment Through Sustainable Practice
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