Thanksgiving is behind us, which officially makes it the holiday season. Across the US, physical therapy clinics are getting into the spirit by decorating their offices. But before you go hanging wreaths and reaching for those advent calendars, take a step back to ensure you’re decorating decisions are Mother Earth approved.
Unfortunately, the holidays can be one of the most wasteful times of year for businesses, as most decorations end up in the trash come January 1. To help, we’ve put together a list of our top five clinic green decorating tips.
‘Tis the Season for a Green Clinic
Tip 1: Go with A “Green” Tree
If your office wants to put up a tree, consider selecting an eco-friendly option. Opting for a reusable (fake) tree can help minimize your footprint, as it can be used over several holiday seasons. If it’s your first time buying a reusable tree, choose one that is sturdy enough to handle being broken down and put back up year-after-year.
Keep in mind, that there are tree options, and then there are “tree” options. Recyclable paper and cardboard trees are becoming more popular in offices across the US. Often they come at a lower cost, require virtually no maintenance once assembled, and can go into the recycling when finished.
Feel creative? You might already have a couple alterna-tree option hanging around your clinic. Take this awesome spinal tree for example:
Simply add some lights and an ornament or two and voila!
If you are going to go with a more traditional tree, consider matching the purchase of the tree with a donation to a tree planting charity to help lessen any potential carbon impact.
Tip 2: Lighten Up with LEDs
Hands down, lights are the most popular holiday season decoration. Whether found in strings draped around a tree or in candles placed in office windows, lights are synonymous with the holidays. When selecting your lights, opt to go with ones that use LED bulbs. While they’re a little more expensive than traditional options, LED bulbs last longer and use less energy. Likewise, you can set LED candles around your office to add even more of an eco-friendly, festive touch.
Tip 3: Put Your Decorations on a Timer
The holidays are a busy time of year. It’s simply unfair to assume that you (or a front-office staffer) is going to remember to turn the lights off every single day when living the clinic. Save yourself the hassle of remembering to turn off (or on) the holiday decorations by using a timer. You can buy a simple timer from your local hardware store. Plug it into the outlet, then plug your decorations into the timer. No more getting all the way home before remembering you left the office spinal cord tree plugged in.
Tip 4: Reuse Vintage Decorations
Before heading to the store to purchase new ornaments, consider making a quick run through a local vintage or thrift shop. Many have shelves stocked with older ornaments donated over the years. Not only can these older ornaments provide a unique look (and conversation starter) for your clinic, you’ll also be able to save a couple bucks. Plus, you’ll be keeping these older ornaments out of the landfill.
Tip 5: Choose a Holiday Ecard over a Physical Card
Holiday office cards are a common tradition for many businesses. A simple way to express your thanks to friends, patients, and vendors for their support over the past year. Unfortunately, most holiday cards end up in the landfill only a few short weeks after they’re sent out. Take your holiday commitment to being green to the next level by sending a holiday Ecard instead. Be sure to let your recipients know that you’re consciously sending an Ecard to help mitigate your damage to the environment. As a bonus point, consider sending a donation to an Eco-Charity equal to what you’re saving on stamps and card printing.
Going green is a year-long commitment, but with a little ingenuity and some alternative choices, you can be sure to turn your holiday season into an eco-friendly experience for all.
To all of us from EcoPro Products, Happy Holidays!