7 tips to help your practice on Earth Day

2014 04 21 15 14 08 148 Green Recycle Logo 200

As April 22 is Earth Day, DrBicuspid.com brings you seven ideas to help your practice become more sustainable and maybe even increase your return on investment. Some of the ideas are perhaps obvious, like turning off your computers at night, but some highlight how far practices have yet to go to reduce the amount of waste produced. What are some of the ideas you practice in your office?

The number in billions of sterilization pouches discarded by U.S. dental practices each year, according to figures from the Eco-Dentistry Association (EDA). Can your practice reduce the number of disposables used each year? Are reusable sterilization pouches an option?

The number in millions of lead foils from x-ray processes discarded by U.S. dental practices each year. According to the EDA, using digital x-rays will greatly reduce or eliminate this waste. U.S. practices also discard 28 million L of toxic x-ray fixers each year.

The liters per flush in a low-flow toilet. Older toilets can use more than 13 L to flush, so low-flow toilets can be one way to reduce your water usage and maybe save on your water bill. Another way to reduce water usage at your office is to check for water leaks at least every six months.

Digital x-rays expose dental patients to between 70% and 90% less radiation than traditional dental x-rays, according to the EDA. If you haven't already, consider going digital.

Remind your patients that the average person uses at least 90 glasses of water every day by leaving the tap running while brushing. Multiply that by the U.S. population and that's a lot of water not used wisely every day. Suggest ways your patients can improve their oral health while not wasting water.

The number of ways the American Dental Association has identified for your practice to go green. Some of the ideas include reducing your paper use in your office or going paperless; installing low-flow or waterless toilets (see above); and purchasing sealants, adhesives, and other restorative materials in package sizes, which will allow all the contents to be used during the procedure.

The number in millions of chair barriers, light handle covers, and patient bibs used each year in U.S. dental practices, according to the EDA. Are recyclable bibs an option for your practice?

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