Two tricks to create less waste

Two tricks to create less waste

Cutting down on waste is possible for anyone, including veterinary professionals. Here are some quick changes you can make to reduce the impact at your practice.
Mar 07, 2018

( to produce less waste at your veterinary practice can seem daunting. The trick is to take small steps and make small changes until you’re better and greener than ever. The environment will thank you, and you’ll have the pleasure of knowing you’re making the earth a better place. When it comes to producing less waste in your veterinary practice, there are a few suggestions I’d make.

First thing’s first: You need to recycle. Even in more eco-friendly places like Boulder (where our office is located), it’s a struggle. We have a recycling wall of shame at our firm to try and motivate ourselves to constantly improve. It might feel like that will make you seem like a nag, but keep in mind that most people want to help the environment. They just need to be reminded how easy it is to recycle.

Second, start to attack veterinary waste. There are tons of easy switches you can make in your veterinary practice, like choosing to go mercury-free. To help find inspiration, take a look at human medicine and the changes hospitals have made to become greener.

It’s as simple as taking a second thought about what you’re using—what’s reusable and what isn’t. For example, you could ditch the paper bowls you use to sterilize tools and stick to steel bowls, so long as they’re completely sanitized after every use.

Producing less waste and becoming more environmentally friendly in the process is just like any new habit: Once you get started, you’ll gain momentum and motivation. It becomes infectious, and soon you’ll be thinking smarter to provide better for the earth, your patients and yourself.

Heather Lewis, AIA, NCARB, is a partner at Animal Arts, an architecture firm in Boulder, Colorado. She's a lighting geek and a (seriously) devoted advocate of minimizing pets' stress and anxiety during their veterinary visits.