As a healthcare professional, there are no shortages of health-related observances. One of the most important observance day for all of us, not only healthcare professionals, is Earth Day! While we are busy saving lives, we should also be prepared to do our part to save the planet! In case you weren’t aware, the 46th annual Earth Day is Monday, April 22nd, and we wanted to share a few tips that will go a long way toward reducing our carbon footprint and help us develop “greener” habits.
- Recycle: Something most of us are doing at home should also be practiced in the workplace. Does your facility have a recycling plan? If so, use Earth Day as a reminder to not only do your part in understanding the plan but also encouraging others who may be tossing their recyclables in with regular waste.
- Host a “Green” Potluck: If there is one thing that we healthcare professionals are good at it's pot luck luncheons. For Earth Day, host a “green” potluck. This simple concept is that everyone brings a dish to share that doesn’t need to be heated up or plugged in. Think turkey wraps, veggies and dips, PBJ’s, and fresh fruits. Another key is to ask everyone to use reusable dishes and utensils to eliminate all of the paper waste.
- Say No to Plastic Bottles and Straws: Everyone wants to stay hydrated and for good reason, but do your part by investing in a good reusable water bottle to eliminate all of those empty plastic water bottles. Also, say no to using disposable plastic straws and get a set of reusable stainless steel straws instead.
- Hike, Bike, Bus, or Carpool: Driving your own car to work every day is convenient, but millions of single passenger vehicles on the road every day does not help the planet. Try an alternative method of commuting to reduce your carbon footprint. Or, try carpooling with a co-worker or friend who works nearby. Even if it is only once or twice a week, reducing emissions should be everyone’s priority.
- Join or Form a “Green Team”: Find out if your workplace has a “green team” of individuals whose goal is to promote conservation and sustainability. If not, drop by Human Resources and gauge their interest in creating a formal committee. Organizations all over the country are coming up with very creative ways to save energy and promote green ideas.
- Take the Stairs: Avoiding the elevator whenever possible is not only a good idea on Earth Day, but should be practiced every day. Taking the stairs not only reduces the massive energy draw but allows all of us to stretch our legs and get in a little added exercise.
- Organize a Cleanup Effort: It is that time of year when the snow has receded, and trash and debris are being exposed. There is a very good chance that if you look around your facility parking lot or nearby green spaces that you will see cups, plastic bags, and other trash. Organize volunteers to join you in a one-day clean-up effort. You will be helping your surrounding environment and also making the exterior look nicer for your patients.
We want to hear about your Earth Day activities. Leave us a comment below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page to share what you are doing to make your workplace a little bit greener this year!