Here at EcoVue®, we spend a great deal of our time and energy to reducing our environmental impact and helping improve the environment. We’ve devoted much of our news posts to the impact of the medical industry on waste and environmental footprint. In our post, Medical Waste By The Numbers, we introduce you to the shocking truth of the sheer amount of medical waste that is produced and how it is handled. In our three-part series on going green, Sustainable Healthcare, we recant some of the barriers to going green in the healthcare industry. But, one thing we feel we have lacked on is providing you some specific answers to “so, what can we do?”
Join us in today’s post as we discuss some of the ways you and your clinic can help decrease medical waste that is produced. Not only is this important to improving the environment, but it also helps buffer your bottom line when there is less waste to handle and process!
At EcoVue, we work diligently to make sure that all of our products are eco-friendly. This way, it doesn’t matter where our product ends up, it will not become clutter or have a negative impact on anyone or anything that comes into contact with it.
How You And Your Clinic Can Decrease Medical Waste
Set up a recycling program.
Setting up a recycling program at your clinic is one of the easiest ways to reduce medical waste and waste in general. More than half of what we toss into the trash can be recycled. Recycling is becoming more commonplace and many people expect to recycle. Setting up a recycling bin next to all trash cans can help make people think a little harder before simply tossing something out. All sorts of materials can be recycled, including aluminum, plastic, glass, paper, cardboard, metals, electronics, plastic bags, and tin. Additionally, if your clinic handles food or drink consumables, you can also set up a compost bin or container.
While we are on this note, let’s discuss a few things that you cannot recycle such as styrofoam or polystyrene. Knowing that these things can’t be recycled may help you make wiser choices when ordering supplies. Knowing what you can and cannot recycle can help you decide what products to purchase and which ones you can find eco-friendly alternatives for.
And, for clinics that are hesitant to recycle due to HIPPA compliance or bio-saturated materials, there are solutions! For materials that are saturated with bodily fluids or contagious disease, the products will likely be incinerated, which is better than ending up in landfills. For HIPPA compliance, most shredding companies offer recycling services for the paper that they shred.
Create an environmentally conscious culture.
Attitude about waste is probably one of the biggest barriers to reducing waste. Creating a culture that focuses on reducing waste is one of the most important things companies can do to reduce waste in general. Creating an environmentally conscious culture is more than just simply encouraging staff and visitors to recycle, but includes promoting the entire triad — reduce, reuse, recycle. Get people to start thinking about how much they consume and how much they waste. Reducing consumption reduces the amount of waste created, and can save your company tens of thousands of dollars.
Order environmentally friendly products.
One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to start at your supply ordering. Choose companies that also focus on the environment and reducing waste. Eco-friendly supply companies focus on reducing waste by reducing packaging and making their minimal packaging of environmentally-friendly products.
Using products that have reduced packaging doesn’t just help to protect the environment by reducing waste of the product packaging, but also helps reduce the environmental impact in other ways. Lighter products with less packaging reduces the weight of the products and the amount of space it takes up. This helps reduce storage space and transportation requirements, which helps reduce fuels used.
If you’ll notice, none of our suggestions to save the environment suggested that you practice medicine different or asked you to do more with fewer resources. There are very small changes you can make that will make a significant difference in the environment overall. And, when every clinic nation-wide (or, dare we get global and say internationally) does their part, small subtle changes can collectively help save the world.
If you are looking for an ultrasound jelly that cares about your patients and the environment, try EcoVue. EcoVue is made with a sustainable future in mind. Our ultrasound gel is all-natural and safe for all patients to use. The packaging is minimal, made of recycled materials, and it is completely biodegradable. If you are looking for ways to reduce medical waste in your clinic, shop our entire product line online today!