Hospitals occupy an odd place in the conservation conversation. While people go there to get well, the significant waste that facilities process daily contributes to toxic pollution.
To get your hospital in line with the Hippocratic oath to do no harm, consider taking measures for drastic change. Here are a few ideas on how to go green at your hospital to get you started.
Revamp Food Offerings
First, adjust what you feed patients and guests and how you procure it. In general, the meat-production process leaches resources from the environment and fills it with pesticides and animal waste in return. While you don’t need to get rid of all meat on the menu, investigate creative ways to substitute some items for plant-based alternatives with similar nutrients.
It also helps to locally source your hospital’s food products. Rather than buying from companies that use considerable amounts of energy to transport and cool their products, buy as much as you can directly from local farmers.
Implement Green Cleaning Measures
In this Coronavirus climate, sanitation is a high priority in hospitals, especially those that take in patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. As the need for cleaning goes up, locate alternative supplies to shift your current cleaning regime toward more sustainable practices. Even as the amount of cleaning waste you produce remains high, you won’t have the same destructive effects on the environment.
Address Waste and Recycling Practices
Next up, think through how you can better handle waste and recycling. Though talking to your waste hauler about their methods or minting a new recycling program are broad fixes, there are smaller measures you can start with. Harness the energy of your guests’ and patients’ leftover food and set up waste receptacles to collect compostable organics. This waste can help you efficiently maintain your landscaping without buying fertilizer.
Reprocess Single-Use Devices
One more way to go green at your hospital is to reprocess single-use devices so you can safely use them over and over. During reprocessing, surgical implements, stethoscopes, and other items undergo rigorous sterilization to eliminate the risk of infection upon a second use. This saves hospitals from repeatedly using and disposing of many different complex tools.