It seems that lately many people have been adopting a green lifestyle . They’ve turned their homes “green,” taken part in green initiatives at the office and even adopted a healthier lifestyle. Many of these same people often feel conflicted when it comes to choosing service providers; if they choose a provider that isn’t green, are these people being hypocritical? They may think so.
Finding companies, retailers and even physicians that are as green as you can be difficult. Many, then, have to make a hard decision: support these companies regardless of their lack of environmental friendliness or choose to neglect a service that they may need. Obtaining necessary medical care may no longer need to conflict with your ideals. Here are ways that many medical offices and clinics are going green:
1. Cleaning Supplies
Many offices are switching to eco-friendly cleaning products purchased from sustainable companies. The Green Seal is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmentally friendly manufacturing and use of sustainable, green products and allows companies to use their seal once they have achieved a certain set of criteria. By looking for the Green Seal, it has become easier than ever for medical offices to purchase sustainable cleaning supplies.
2. Used Equipment
By purchasing gently used equipment for diagnostic imaging purposes, clinics are reducing their carbon footprint. Not only does the purchase of used equipment reduce the need for manufacturers to produce more product but these clinics are accepting items that would otherwise take up valuable landfill space.
3. Going Paperless
The next time you visit your doctor’s office, don’t be surprised if you are greeted by a physician holding a tablet or laptop. Many offices and clinics are going completely paperless, relying on electronic records. Not only is this environmentally friendly but it is also beneficial to the patient: you can, many times, access your records from the comfort of your own home.
4. Recycling Old Film
As more and more offices and clinics switch to digital radio-graphs, they are stuck with boxes of old X-ray film. Rather than throwing hundreds of pounds of film in the trash, these clinics are recycling the film. Not only does this enable the silver in the film to be put to a good use but it prevents dangerous toxins from being released into our environment.
5. Mercury Elimination
Mercury has been linked to mood swings, poor eyesight and even mental disturbance. Offices are now developing proper mercury elimination programs and establishing mercury-free policies when it comes to purchasing new supplies.
6. Pharmaceutical Elimination
By educating their patients on the proper methods of medicine disposal, clinics are helping to ensure that dangerous chemicals are not finding their way into our water system. Clinics are also disposing of their outdated pharmaceuticals in ways that don’t harm the environment.
7. Break Rooms and Cafeterias
Long gone are the days of plastic silverware and disposable plates. Many offices are using proper dishes and utensils in both their break rooms and their cafeterias, greatly reducing the level of trash they produce.
Visiting your physician is one thing you don’t have to feel conflicted about. If you are concerned that your doctor may not be as environmentally friendly as you and your family are, simply ask them what green initiatives they have undertaken. You may even be able to provide them with some great new ideas that will help them turn their clinic into an eco-friendly one.
Cynthia Johnson is a lab assistant and online contributor for one of the most notable health testing centers, offering a prescribed or self-ordered Lipid Profile and many other types of blood tests for everything from liver functions to a thyroid test.