Hospitals, clinics, and other health-care facilities produce waste and pollutants just like any business. The type of waste may be more specific, with some of it requiring special disposal methods, but there are similarities as well. If you’re curious about how to waste less, recycle more, and reduce your impact on the environment, here’s how to help your health-care facility to go greener.
Nowadays, it seems inconceivable that any facility doesn’t have most of its records online and available anywhere and anytime. But paper use persists in hospitals and elsewhere. Some people prefer paper to electronic means of taking notes, passing along messages, and gathering records. Continue to push for all-electronic records and messaging in your facility. Make it easier by restricting the use of notebooks and the like and providing tablets and mobile workstations with laptops and similar devices. For the paper you do use (and there may be legal and other requirements to do so), use both sides. When it comes time to shred it all, ensure you recycle that paper or that the company that shreds for you does so.
What’s the Parking Situation?
Staff, patients, visitors, vendors, and others usually have one thing in common—they drive. Because they drive, you need to provide a parking area where they can leave their cars during their shifts. That can lead to high traffic, more emissions, potential accidents, and pollutants gathering in your lot or garage and draining off into the environment. Budgeting for an energy-efficient and fully automated parking facility is one way to go greener. If that’s not possible, covert your parking lot so that it uses permeable concrete and pavers for better run-off. Make sure maintenance collects, filters, and reuses water for surrounding plants. And so on.
Are you making effective use of your facility’s rooftop? Green roofs are popular these days and can turn unused roof space into a lush and verdant garden. Green roofs are lovely places for employees to hang out, enjoy meals, and converse. They can provide fresh fruits and vegetables that might find their way into patients’ meals. And, of course, the benefits of bringing more oxygen to the atmosphere are obvious. Green roofs also provide a level of insulation, helping you save on heating and cooling.
Get Smarter About Transportation
Still wondering how to help your health-care facility to go greener? We’ve covered parking, but what about the vehicles that your facility and staff use? Look into alternative fuels, like biodiesel, propane, ethanol, and others, for your ambulances and other vehicles. Encourage staff to get to work by bike, train, bus, or foot. Make it easy for them by reimbursing them for their commutes. Tie it all in with a health challenge, rewarding those who put in the most effort. Healthier employees mean lower premiums on your insurance as well!