How Dentists Can Encourage Staff in Environmental Awareness

How Dentists Can Encourage Staff in Environmental Awareness

In recent years, more and more people have taken an interest in protecting the environment, which has lead to a heightened awareness of environmental issues in many businesses, including dental practices. Though health care practices are not often accused of being serious polluters, there are many things we can do better in the industry to conserve resources and protect the environment.

Dentistry has already taken several steps to reduce waste and toxins. These include limiting the necessity of amalgam fillings, changing over to digital radiography and using high-quality, biodegradable disinfectants in sterilization. Today, there are many reasonable and affordable ways to reduce your practice’s environmental footprint, and you can simplify your efforts by getting staff on board. Here are just a few tips to help you encourage staff to be more environmentally aware:


1. Re-Think Everyday Processes

It all starts with perspective. Green dentistry involves every aspect of your practice from patient care to office supplies, approved products to advanced technology. But that is not all; environmental awareness goes beyond and includes every aspect of your daily life. Re-think how you travel to work, prepare your meals and tidy your home. Going green is a lifestyle. If you start some simple practices in your daily life to conserve and preserve, then those habits will start to spill over into your work life as well.


2. Practice What You Preach

If a dentist hopes to communicate the importance of environmental awareness, then he or she must set the example. You cannot hope to hold your staff to a set of standards you are not prepared to keep yourself. So take a moment and think about what green dentistry means for your practice and what you can do to help protect the environment. Then actually go and do those things.


3. Find Ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Now, you are ready to start breaking down your dental processes and finding ways to protect and preserve the environment. Look for products and technologies approved by environmental organizations. Use their resources as a guide and start incorporating what you can do to reduce waste and pollution. Encourage your staff to get involved in this process, so that the effort to go green is a practicewide affair. If your staff helps to implement the program, they will be far more likely to uphold it in the future.


4. Make a Pact

Setting goals and planning out action items are other ways you can encourage staff in environmental awareness. Sit down together in an office meeting and plot out some specific campaigns you can work on together. Just as an example, you could commit to using public transportation for one week or focusing on turning off the tap while you brush your teeth. Sign a pledge and encourage one another in your efforts to conserve. These small steps might not seem like much, but the impact of even the simplest effort can have a lasting effect.
Environmental awareness is  something you should continue to re-evaluate in your practice and in your life. Sometimes, there is not always a solution, or there is more than one. Finding the right balance between eco-friendly and efficiency can be complicated. But what is most important is that you choose to be consistent in your efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. Your staff will see your efforts and their growing interest in the environment will be more natural.