How to Make Your Medical Practice Greener

April 10, 2013

Here are some quick and easy suggestions from physicians and practice managers to make your practice more environmentally friendly.

Make this Earth Day, April 22, 2013, count. Here are some quick and easy suggestions from physicians and practice managers to make your practice more environmentally friendly.

Clean greener.

1. Do the ozone and your staff a favor. Use eco-friendly cleaning products.

2. Use tissues, toilet paper, and paper towels made from 100 percent recycled paper.

3. Don't throw away old equipment - donate it.

Ditch plastic.

4. Don't supply staff members with plastic water bottles; ask them to bring in their own reusable bottles and install water coolers in your office.

5. Place recycling bins throughout the office, including in the reception area.

6. Maintain HIPAA compliance and go green at the same time. On a regular basis, have an outside company shred and recycle your discarded paper.

Be energy efficient.

7. Install an automated thermostat at your practice to ensure peak efficiency.

8. Equip exam rooms with motion sensor lighting.

9. Use power strips to turn technology off at night or when not in use.

Get everyone involved.

10. Start a "Green Team" and appoint a few resourceful staff members to find ways to make the office more environmentally friendly.

11. Support local agriculture: Find a local farm share or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) organization, and ask it to put up a flyer in your office offering patients a discount.

12. Consider making your office the weekly pickup location to foster community interconnection.

13. Have quarterly in-office lunches to reward employees for helping keep the office green.

Change the environment.

14. Plant some fruit trees. They're good for the environment, and it's also a great hint to patients to eat more fruit.

15. If possible, install a skylight. Sunlight is much easier on the eyes and on energy costs.

16. Install solar panels at your practice and use them to power your hot-water heater.

Contributors: Derrick Berger, MD; P.J. Cloud-Moulds; Steve Kwon, MD; Audrey "Christie" McLaughlin, RN; Dustin Sulak, MD; and Christopher Tashjian, MD

Marisa Torrieri is an associate editor for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at marisa.torrieri@ubm.com.

Aubrey Westgate is an associate editor for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at aubrey.westgate@ubm.com.

This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Physicians Practice.