The average dental practice produces a shocking amount of waste. On the bright side, that is fairly easy to change and tends to lead to financial benefits for the business. A few relatively simple changes can save some money and protect the environment at the same time.
Most practices can easily reduce their paper usage. Paper production is hard on the environment and buying paper can cost a lot of money so the change is worth making. Switching over to digital patient forms and adopting a digital billing system will eliminate most of the waste without a huge amount of effort.
Switch to Reusable Tools
Dentists use a lot of disposable items. Some of those are necessary but practices can replace many others with reusable alternatives. For example, replacing paper cups with sturdy, washable versions will eliminate a huge amount of waste in the long run.
Recycle Your Waste
Some waste is inevitable. Some tools need to be disposable due to hygiene concerns. Some forms may be impossible to digitize. It is always best to eliminate waste but the next best thing is to accept that some will exist and deal with it as responsibly as possible.
That usually means recycling. Take an inventory of all of the items that the practice uses on a regular basis and figure out which ones are recyclable. Circulate the list to all of the staff and provide dedicated recycling bins for those items. That will minimize the amount of junk that ends up in landfills.
Saving energy is the key to going green. Dentists who are looking to relocate should try to move into a green building that is optimized for efficiency but there are chances that any practice can make. Even something as simple as installing an automated thermostat can save energy by eliminating the human errors that keep the heat on at inappropriate times. Efficient lighting systems and appliances will also make a big difference. Some practices may even be able to install solar panels to generate their own power. These systems will require an initial investment but they will pay off over time by reducing the energy bill.