Green. Organic. Earth-friendly. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Once on the fringes, these words and concepts have found a place in our everyday lives, as more and more of us understand our personal roles and responsibilities in protecting and preserving the Earth for future generations.
But even if you personally live green, you may be wondering if there’s a place for those concepts in the world of dentistry. The answer is a resounding yes! Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors have all responded to the need to reduce the waste and toxicity of many dental supplies. If you’d like start or expand your practice’s efforts to practice green dentistry, here are some ways to do it.
Know the Lingo—There is a lot of terminology surrounding green dentistry. Here’s a quick rundown of what some of these common terms really mean:
- Recyclable—Materials that can be recycled through municipal recycling programs, such as aluminum, glass, paper and most plastics
- Contains Recycled Material—Products made using recycled materials (either all or partial)
- Biodegradable—Products designed to completely break down and leave no harmful traces
- Reusable—Products that can be used again and again before being recycled or disposed
Start with Supplies—From prophy angles made with less plastic to green certified foam hand cleanser to recyclable/biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes, we are proud to offer a wide and ever-growing supply of green dentistry options. Next time you place an order, ask your sales rep to recommend green alternatives for the dental supplies you buy regularly.
Green Up Your Giveaways—Did you know? SmartPractice Supply Bags are made from 100% recyclable, low density plastic. And our Magnets contain 75% post-consumer recycled materials. But that’s just the start of our green giveaways. We also offer BIC Eco pens, a wide range of long-lasting reusable shopping bags and reusable, recyclable, BPA-free drinkware.
Stay in Compliance—It’s a fact that some things in dentistry can’t be recycled or reused; they must be thrown away. But it’s important to do that in the most responsible way possible. Additionally, many state and local environmental agencies have enacted regulations regarding mercury in waste-water levels, which creates the need for products such as amalgam separators.
Going green in the dental office doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start by making small changes, such as replacing a portion of your everyday dental supplies with more eco-friendly options. Stick with the changes you make and continuously add more green practices to your office. In time, you will establish your practice as one that truly cares about making dentistry a sustainable industry for your patients and planet.