Written By Dr. Gary Salwin / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Here's an alarming statistic: the average person can generate as much as 4.51 pounds of garbage daily. If your dental practice serves 20 to 30 patients a day and maintains a staff of five to 10 people, you can be creating as much as 160 pounds of garbage each day!
While carrying out comes easy for dental practitioners, finding ways to make their dental practice more sustainable can be a challenge for some. However, the demand for more sustainable practices has become louder than ever across all industries.
If you have yet to adopt green policies in your dental clinic, you would be happy to know that it's easier than most people think. Start creating an environmentally friendly dental practice by keeping the following tips in mind:
Eco-Friendly Tip #01: Minimize Reliance on Single-Use Plastic Items
Heavy reliance on single-use plastic items is considered one of the most significant barriers to going green in the dental industry. Many dental practices prefer single-use plastic items because they won't need to be cleaned and sanitized between patients - they just throw them out after use.
The packaging associated with single-use items has been known to create a significant amount of waste. In fact, it accounts for 33 percent of the total trash in the United States. Ideally, it would be best if you relied on reusable instruments when you could. The idea is to take steps to minimize plastic waste in your dental office.
Eco-Friendly Tip #02: Promote Eco-Friendly Products
If you are like most dental practitioners, you will likely give away or sell a line of dental products to your patients. Switching the usual items you provide for more eco-friendly options is one way you can show your patients your dedication to sustainability.
One of the sustainable dental products that are becoming increasingly popular is bamboo toothbrushes. If eco-friendly products are not available, opting for products with minimalistic or recycled packaging is the recommended alternative.
Eco-Friendly Tip #03: Save Power/Electricity When You Can
The less electricity/power you use, the better it is for the environment. What's even better is saving on energy can also do wonders for your bottom line. If you own the premises, consider using solar panels.
It is a clean form of energy and a very visible one - allowing you to show everyone your eco-friendly credentials without saying a word.
Another effective way to save power would be to invest in automated lighting, lighting plans, and energy-saving bulbs. A lighting plan can identify the most efficient way to light your premises while reducing your power consumption at the same time.
As the name implies, automated lighting will turn off when not in use. This gives you a set-and-forget approach to saving electricity and power. On the other hand, energy-saving light bulbs allow you to do business as usual while saving power.
Eco-Friendly Tip #04: Go Paperless
For many, this can seem impractical, if not impossible. The good news? It can be done! Nowadays, many dental practices have been jumping on the paperless bandwagon, and their patients love it.
If you consider the amount of paper used in a day, you can get an idea of what it equates to in a year. Amazingly, even if you can't commit to going 100 percent paperless right away, starting the process is undeniably a huge step in the right direction.
Eco-Friendly Tip #05: Use Biodegradable Disinfectants
Surprisingly, when sterilizing your dental equipment, there are plenty of options now available at your disposal. One way you can cut down your carbon footprint would be to use biodegradable disinfectants. Ideally, the right fit should be one that can effectively sterilize your equipment while not being too harsh.
Biodegradable disinfectants use less toxic materials and can biodegrade in a way that won't cause too much harm to the environment. While there's this misconception that biodegradable disinfectants are not as potent, there's no truth to this.
Many biodegradable disinfectants are not only capable of killing viruses and pathogens, they are also approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Going green is not a trend; it is something that's here to stay. Fortunately, there is no shortage of ways to make your dental practice more eco-friendly. Pick one green idea you can implement each week. Even small changes can add up and can make a massive difference in the environment over time.
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Dr. Gary Salwin leads the Glendale Dental Group, Arizona. He and his team treat dental emergencies and perform a whole range of dental services. He has been practicing dentistry for more than 36 years.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.