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Environment

Unprecedented Ways Dental Offices Are Prioritizing The Environment

Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Dariusz Jarzabek
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The focus on protecting the environment is more important than ever. It affects every industry, dentistry included. As dentists everywhere move toward becoming more environmentally-friendly, we wanted to know how dental offices are managing it.

We asked Oakville dentist Dr. Iacovino what ways offices can make the change and help the environment and this is what we learned.

Energy Efficiency

Dr. Iacovin states that energy efficiency can do a lot more than lower your electric or water bill. If your office uses less energy, then that is less of a drain on the grid and natural resources. Energy does not just mean electric. There are a few different ways that you can achieve this in your office, including the following:

  • Install water-saving toilets
  • Use motion lighting in rooms that will shut off if no one is there
  • Use energy-efficient appliances, including dishwashers, sterilizers, and anything else your office might use
  • Use solar panels and solar water systems when possible
  • Weather-proof your windows and doors to stop air from exiting
  • Replace any old water heaters with newer, smaller, and more efficient water heaters
  • Use hot air hand dryers instead of wasting paper towels
  • Use a programmable thermostat

Conserve

You can also be more aware of ways to conserve energy use in your office.

  • Turn off computers and printers at the end of the work day
  • Turn off lights when leaving a room
  • Do not use sleep settings for devices since they still drain energy
  • Turn off the water when lathering while washing your hands
  • Pay your bills online whenever possible
  • Look to see if your area offers any tax incentives for energy conservation or green habits

Green Products

Another way to help your dental office move toward being more environmentally conscious is to use green products. Many products that you might purchase have green options out there if you know what you are looking for. Some green products that you could switch to include:

  • Install ceiling fans to reduce the need for air conditioning
  • Use stainless steel prophy heads instead of disposable heads
  • Use recycled paper products instead of the standard paper products
  • Purchase reusable stainless steel surgical and endodontic suction tips instead of plastic
  • Use biodegradable cups instead of waxed paper cups
  • Have water-free hand sanitizer accessible to all
  • Inform staff that disposable products are to only be used when no other option is available
  • Buy restorative materials in useful package sizes to prevent waste
  • Do not use or offer bottled water
  • Change out any air filters when they are due to be changed

Recycle

The best-known environmentally friendly method out there is to recycle. This will allow you to give new life to previous-used products when possible, helping keep the environment clean by eliminating the need for new creations.

  • Use a recycling contractor to remove hazardous waste
  • Use rechargeable batteries and recycle batteries that you can’t recharge
  • Recycle or refill toner cartridges rather than throwing them away
  • Recycle any type of material that can be recycled, including aluminum, glass, paper, plastic, and other metals. Check with your local recycling company to see what can be collected

Eliminate

Part of being environmentally friendly is to eliminate the unneeded items that might be increasing your office’s carbon footprint. Here are some ideas of what you might be able to live without in your office.

  • Waiting room television
  • Get rid of all aerosol products
  • Don’t use plastic goody bags for patients
  • Go paperless in your office to eliminate or reduce the amount of paper that is used
  • Print double-sided when you have to print
  • Useless magazines or newspapers that patients do not read or need
  • Get rid of high-energy office lights that drain power and replace them with energy-efficient lighting solutions

Education

Finally, one of the best ways that you can create an environmentally-friendly space is to educate those who will be coming within your space. That includes both patients and your staff. Some ways to achieve this include:

  • Signs posted in the restroom or breakrooms to conserve water
  • Providing information or green tips in the waiting rooms
  • Tell patients that they need to turn the faucet off while they are brushing
  • Inform staff of your in-office conservation practices

Energy Efficiency is a Priority for Every Responsible Dentist

There are a lot of ways that dentists can reduce their carbon footprint. The steps listed above can play a very important role.

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