Sustainability may be a hot buzzword these days but it’s anything but a trend. In fact, since the 1950s, 8.3 billion metric tons of single-use plastics have been created and thrown away; half of which have been created within the last 15 years. But it’s not just single-use plastics that are changing things for the worse. Non-recyclables make up nearly 56 tons per year per American. In your lifetime, you’ll leave a legacy of about 90,000 pounds of trash. While that is an impressive amount of trash, what if you could do something even more impressive?
Incorporating sustainability practices into your physical therapy clinic is easy and way more impressive than the thousands of pounds of trash you could potentially leave behind in your wake. From ditching cloth and paper pillow covers to eliminating single-use plastics, these are 5 ways you can incorporate sustainability into your physical therapy practice.
Eliminate Single-Use Plastics
The break room may be difficult to keep clean throughout the work week but that doesn’t mean you should fold under pressure. Eliminating single-use plastics in your clinic can have a major impact on reducing your trash output. If you’re worried about dishes piling up, fret not. There are compostable and recyclable options for physical therapy clinics that struggle to manage cleaning break room kitchens and maintaining patients. You can find compostable, single-use utensils and even biodegradable single-use cups for your patients who like to sip on water or coffee during their treatment.
Ditch The Cloth and Paper Pillow Covers
Laundry is the purgatory of all clinic chores. A seemingly never-ending cycle of washing, drying, folding, and repeating. Perhaps you hated it so much that you innocently switched to pillow covers. However, if you are exclusively using paper cloth pillow covers in your clinic, this means that for every PT clinician you have on staff, they will kill about 2 trees per year. Doesn’t really seem like a lot, right? Until you think about how many PT clinics exist all over the world.
EcoPro Pillow Covers offer staff, clinics, and patients a safe and unique sustainable solution to traditional cloth and paper pillow covers. Using a soft, antimicrobial vinyl, the EcoPro pillow cover is a revolutionary way to treat and heal patients. Replacing wasteful paper and cloth pillowcases with an easy to clean, eco-friendly alternative, you can get back to spending more time with patients and less time cleaning, all while reducing your carbon footprint.
Rethink Your Lighting
Natural light from the sun can reduce stress, boost your Vitamin D levels, improve your mood, and lowers your light bill. But utilizing natural light more often than artificial light isn’t just about the mood boosting and money-saving effects. Natural light can reduce harmful fumes released by power plants and preserve and protect natural ecosystems from being destroyed.
Of course, natural light isn’t always accessible for every physical therapy clinic and it is heavily dependent on season and time of day. Energy-efficient lightbulbs use 70%-90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. By switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs you can save $75 each year and they last 3-25 times longer. But the best eco-friendly, money-saving lighting tip is to simply turn the lights off when not in use!
CoVid-19 showed us all that technology isn’t our enemy but can be our very best friend. Video conferencing systems allow you to treat, advise, and partially assess new and present patients without adding to increasingly worsening air quality. If you can save your patients a trip to your physical therapy clinic, why not? Less traffic means better air quality and a happier planet.
Reconsider Your Marketing
The materials you use to market your clinic can have a profound impact on your local environment. Choosing eco-friendly marketing materials like digital vs print can reduce the number of trees and waste your clinic produces. Let’s be real, when was the last time you saved a flyer? Marketing materials aren’t only flyers and business cards either. Many clinics use fun, everyday objects like cups, coozies, and t-shirts to market their business. Think long and hard before you order 300 plastic cups with your clinic’s name on it. Besides, wouldn’t glass mugs or pint glasses be much classier and more memorable?
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