Are you aware of the critical situation our planet is currently experiencing? We are facing an unsustainable environmental crisis that requires us to take immediate action to preserve it. Believe it or not, the excessive paper consumption is causing negative effects on the environment, mainly due to the enormous quantities of cellulose needed for its manufacture.
That thin sheet made from cellulose pulp, which may seem innocent at first glance, is of vital importance to the environment. That's why today we're bringing you a post telling you all about paper consumption, how it affects the environment and give you some tips to reduce it's usage in your dental practice! Stay tuned because we're just getting started!
Why is paper consumption a serious environmental problem?
Paper is so commonly used in our daily lives that we never stop to think about how much of it is wasted. The problem with paper consumption starts from the very beginning, since its manufacture and the processes involved in it are already a major source of pollution. Furthermore, we must think about the pollution generated once the paper is used and disposed of, generating new costs and emissions in transport, displacement and destruction. You might be asking yourself: what are the reasons to cut down paper consumption in your dental practice?
- Enormous amounts of water and energy are consumed in its manufacture.
- It is transport-intensive, which leaves a huge carbon footprint.
- It is one of the main sources of water and air pollution.
- It emits a lot of greenhouse gases, about 3.3 kg of CO2 for every kilo of paper. These gases are harmful to the earth as they accelerate climate change.
- Chlorine is used in the bleaching of the paste, which is very harmful for human health and the environment.
- It is the main cause of deforestation. Hence the importance of recycling.
Vídeo: How can paper consumption be reduced?
This fight doesn't end at your workplace. Every day people consume vast amounts of paper without realising it. To help you, here's a video showing you some actions that we can all carry out on a personal level to reduce paper consumption.
Tips to reduce paper consumption in your dental practice
Dental practices are one of the workplaces where most paper is consumed on a daily basis. Therefore, it is important that you take into consideration the following actions that will help you to reduce paper consumption.
Digitalise your documents
This involves replacing the physical format of documents with a digital format and includes records, reports, budgets, payroll, invoices... This eliminates and recycles the paper that you have been accumulating for years and, moreover, fewer documents are printed, which will allow you to save paper, ink and machine maintenance.
Use double-sided or recycled paper
There are occasions when paper may be necessary. However, it is important to choose the least damaging option. One good approach is to use both sides of the paper. The other is to use recycled paper.
Currently, there are different types of recycled paper that are differentiated according to the amount of recycled fibre used. You can find 100% recycled paper as well as papers that mix recycled paper and virgin fibre paper in their composition.
Ecological Disposable Paper Cups
Biodegradable paper cups composed of recycled paper and virgin fibre paper.
Features of Ecological Cups:
- The most sustainable alternative to avoid plastic cups.
- Cups made with ecological materials.
- Suitable aesthetics.
- Disposable and 100% recyclable.
- Paper thickness 248 gsm.
- Capacity: 100 ml (4 oz).
- Plastic Neutral. Plastic footprint = 0gr. *Certified by Gravity Wave.
Use environmentally friendly ink in printers
The goal is to reduce the amount of printing you do to zero. But if it is really necessary to print something, it's suggested that you make as few copies as possible, use environmentally friendly ink and always use both sides of the paper.
Substitute hand paper towels for electric hand driers
While most paper can be recycled, soiled napkins, toilet paper or kitchen towels cannot. It is therefore essential to replace hand paper towels with a hand dryer.
Reuse cardboard boxes from orders
Dental practices receive many orders on a daily basis. Therefore, ideally, you should take advantage of these boxes and put them to good use. If they are no longer in use, make sure you recycle them in the appropriate container!
Don't print out emails or invoices
Emails and invoices are very recurrent documents in the day-to-day running of your dental practice. Therefore, it is important to start working with the electronic version, which allows you to store and manage both e-mails and invoices and avoid the useless and unnecessary expense of printing out this kind of document.
There are also document managers that allow you to organise and control all your digital documents. Thanks to their structure and features, you will be able to achieve improved efficiency and savings in the management and use of your files.
Use an electronic signature
With the electronic signature you can sign any document with just one click. This tool guarantees the highest possible security and is completely valid. It will save you enormous amounts of paper and time. In short, using electronic signatures is more environmentally friendly and convenient than the traditional way.
Use a digital time recording system
In the past, a lot of paper was used to clock in and out of work. Nowadays, there are a number of different apps that allow you to record your working hours. They can be used online or downloaded to your mobile phone. Therefore, it's a very useful tool to save paper and to prevent these records from getting lost.
Could you ever have guessed how big an impact paper has? It is important to reflect on the significance of reducing paper consumption in dental practices and to be mindful of the fact that carrying out the aforementioned initiatives will be a good starting point. And remember, you can't be careless at the end of your working day, every little bit counts!
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See you next time!