Earth Day is a time to celebrate our Earth and reflect on what we can do as veterinary professionals and animal hospital owners to better our impact on the environment. Whether you’re a veterinarian, a vet technician, or a practice manager, we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day year-round! These range from small, everyday actions to bigger switches that will save money and help the environment.
Here are a variety of actions you can take as a veterinary professional in addition to reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Offer a discount on spay/neuter services
Over 6 million companion animals enter shelters each year. Help reduce the animal population and ease the impact on shelters by hosting a promotion. This is a great chance to educate pet parents, bring more traffic to your clinic, and reduce the number of strays in your city. If you’re considering hosting a spay/neuter event, consider hiring a relief vet to help out with the increased workload!
Provide biodegradable pet waste bags
Did you know that April 1-7 is International Pooper Scooper Week? One aspect of dog ownership is picking up waste, and providing biodegradable waste bags to new clients or first-time pet owners will help them get started on the right foot. You can also take the opportunity to educate them about why it’s important to pick up pet waste.
Minimize snail mail
Send out appointment reminders via text or email. Additionally, sending out a promotional email to your entire client base will help you streamline the outreach process and reduce the financial strain and environmental impact of sending out cards, packets, or brochures. Try it out; it might even help to reduce the likelihood of no-shows!
Use reusable towels
Paper towels may be a lifesaver when it comes to pet accidents, spills, and general clinic cleanup, but they take a toll on the environment. Consider switching over to microfiber towels—not only are they highly absorbent, but they dry quickly, too! The initial cost (and even the water used for washing them) will pay off in the long run!
Try your hand at thrifting
Clinic decorations add up, both in terms of your wallet and the environment. Mass-produced furniture and plastic utensils in the breakroom can easily be purchased at secondhand shops. If you’re in need of furniture, picture frames, or even silverware, thrifting is a great option!
Unplug at the end of each day
With the exception of electronics that monitor patients or keep security systems running, many electronics can be unplugged at the end of the day. This includes computers, lamps, coffee machines, microwaves, and more. Taking a moment to unplug will make your energy bill much more manageable.
Gift your staff reusable water bottles
Whether it’s an all-staff holiday gift or a first-day gift for new employees, water bottles are a great option to give your staff! Help reduce your impact on the environment by minimizing the use of disposable plastic in your clinic.
Learn about the impact veterinarians have on the environment and what you can do to reduce it with AVMA’s One Health. One Health refers to two related ideas: First, it is the concept that humans, animals, and the world we live in are inextricably linked. Second, it refers to the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment. Read more from the AVMA about how veterinarians play a role in the One Health concept.
Invest in a brighter future
Have your team switch out energy-wasting light bulbs for more environmentally friendly options. You’ll see positive impacts on your energy bill, and you’ll reduce your clinic’s carbon footprint along the way!
Host a donation event
Have pet parents donate unused toys, outgrown dog beds, and old blankets and towels. You can bring these to an animal shelter or give them to pet parents who are in need of them! Give lightly used pet products a second chance.
Whether you’re making small switches or implementing larger changes, the environment will benefit! Try using these 10 tips or brainstorming with your staff to find even more ways to celebrate Earth Day and beyond!
How are you celebrating Earth Day? There are a number of things you can do to reduce your own, your clinic’s, and your clients’ impact on the environment. There’s no day like today to go green!