How Cornerstone is a little Green (and simple ways you can be too!)
One advantage with being a new practice is that we could design many things to be efficient as possible. We could look at the big picture (air conditioning units and lighting), down to the small things- and often they are they things that really add up. We don’t really promote ourselves as an Ecodentist or an Enviro practice, because hopefully that shouldn’t be something special, but something we can all achieve.
Here are just a few things we do differently…
- Use recycled paper wherever possible, from the office to the loo.
- Make use of paperless practice management programs- no old-fashion charting on cards, and encourage phone, text or email reminders before we send out letters.
- Educate the team to switch off unnecessary lights and appliances when not using them, or use automatic timers to switch off.
- Set the air-conditioning to 24 degrees Celsius, the most energy efficient working temperature.
- Have live indoor plants. These are calming little creatures that may our indoor air cleaner by sucking up Volatile Organic Compounds.
- Use energy efficient lights: we use a combination of LED and fluorescent lights. Cool and cost saving, with a much greater working life.
- Use recycled or sustainable products in our construction materials. These include everything from walls, cupboards, vinyl flooring to splashbacks.
- Recycle everything possible, especially cardboard boxes.
- Compost our own garden waste, and use it to make your flowers lovely next year. We don’t have dirty old magazines out in the waiting room. Instead we a new copy of the local daily newspaper, which gets shredded and collected for the compost everyday.
- Use local businesses rather than national chains. Supporting local businesses supports your local community, and keeps transportation to a minimum. We are proud to use filling material from the only company in Australian that makes its own dental materials, Southern Dental Industries (SDI). We will use other filling materials made in Japan, Germany or America where indicated. All our crown, bridge and laboratory work is made in Australia, most locally. We refer denture work to our local Prosthetist at MetroWest Dentures.
- Fit the latest amalgam separating equipment to the surgery suction units, to reduce waterway contamination. We do not place any new amalgam fillings.
- Provide bus and train timetables. Encourage people to use public transport to get there (and be patient when they are late!)
- Reduce usage of the plastic bags! Re-use shopping bags, use biodegradable waste bags and give away kids goody bags in reusable paper bags.
- Tell your patients what you are doing, and why. Ask them for other suggestions.
- We do all of these things. They are very simple and yet people have responded very positively.