Verdant Vocations: A Dentist?

Here's the first in a series of posts about that third of our day spent beavering away at our chosen craft.

[Verdant: green, lush, rich. Vocation: calling, life's work, mission, purpose, function; profession, occupation, career, job, employment, trade, business, line, line of work, métier.]

A Green Dentist might :
1. buy Green Power to run their surgery
2. promote the use of replaceable head tooth brushes
3. email customers their invoice rather than printing them
4. advise customers of 'composite resin' as an alternative to mercury-based
amalgam fillings
5. install energy saving compact fluorescent and LED lighting where
appropriate
6. use natural ingredient mouthwashes in the surgery
7. employ low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints when refurbishing surgery and reception rooms
8. advise customers of the nearest public transport stops or bikeways
9. adhere strictly to government regulations for the safe disposal of waste mercury
10. have copies of quick-to-read Dr Seuss' The Lorax in the waiting room.

After we drew up the above list on the back of an envelope we though, "Gee, wonder if any dentists are actually doing this sort of stuff? Are we being realistic?" To our delight we found a couple of dental surgeries who go even further.

Green Dentistry use digital patient charting to reduce paper use, digital imaging (not traditional x-rays), which means 75 to 90% less radiation, their office utilizes only energy efficient T8 and MR16 lighting as well as natural ventilation cooling rather than air conditioning.

The Transcendentist practice what they call ecodentistry. This means they have linoleum floors, use cotton head rests and bibs that they launder/disinfect on-site instead of the usual disposables and use steam-based instrument sterilization among many other initiatives.

See also other links for greening your vocation:
TreeHugger's How To Green Your Work Guide
Green@Work Magazine
The upcoming book: True Green at Work: 100 Ways You Can Make the Environment Your Business. [Australian version here.]

Tags: Lighting | Volatile Organic Compounds