Environmentally aware as we are, it can sometimes be easy to become complacent or fail to come up with new ideas on reducing waste. I run a boutique physiotherapy practice where, often, we can’t do the ‘big’ things like changing fleets of vehicles or switching to solar. But caring for the environment is a team effort and requires more people doing small things, rather than a small few people doing everything perfectly. Here are 5 things we’ve recently implemented in the clinic to reduce waste and continue to be environmental advocates.
- 1) Reusable Client information forms:
Months ago, we created a fillable new client form on PDF, which we email out to all new clients prior to their initial appointment, along with an email note on our aims to reduce waste. Despite this, we still found that we were printing far too many forms for clients to fill out on the day- until I visited a massage therapist on the Sunshine Coast and stole this idea! We’ve now laminated several forms and our clients use whiteboard markers to fill them out. They can then be scanned, wiped down and reused!
Recommended by the Committee for Waste reduction, the Bokashi Bin is a really easy way to divert food waste away from landfill. Unlike many traditional composting systems, it accepts meat and dairy and can be buried directly into the garden- perfect for our new backyard veggie patch!
- 3) Educate, Educate, Educate:
I learned early on that if I was to lead by example, I also needed to make things easy for people. We already have our ‘Redcycle’ bins clearly labelled with what should go into them, but I’ve realised there needs to be more awareness of how important reducing, reusing and recycling actually is. To help get the message out more, we’ve displayed the Cairns City Council ‘Recycle Right’ pages in our waiting area, along with articles on the recycling crisis caused by India and China cutting their acceptance of Australian recycling.
For any business that sells products, plastic wrapping is an unfortunate part of purchasing goods. We’ve tried to mitigate this as much as possible by choosing suppliers and products wisely, but for the plastic that slips through, we have Redcycle bins displayed in all our rooms. It’s easy for me to take a couple of bags to the bins at Woolworths or Coles when I’m going to do my weekly shop and it cuts down a massive amount of waste from landfill.
We’ve had our own branded reusable coffee cups since the early days of the practice- we even lend these to people going to grab a coffee from Billy’s, two doors down. Our filtered water in the reception area is surrounded by stainless steel cups (which it takes us 2 minutes to wash, rather than wasting endless disposable cups) and we regularly refill our handwash, laundry detergent and natural cleaning sprays at The Source bulk wholefoods.