Earth Hour 2014 begins tonight, March 29th, from 8:30 PM until 9:30 PM Central Time.
Earth Hour is a worldwide event. The challenge is simple, but the global impacts of energy conservation can be enormous: Simply switch off your lights (and other non-essential electric devices) for an hour beginning at 8:30 PM. Many buildings in the Chicago skyline will be going dark at 8:30 PM, and the Chicago Cultural Center is having a FREE special event with activities for kids and families before and during Earth Hour!
Although our offices at 1st Family Dental will be closed for the evening (with our non-essential lights out, of course), we want to share with you some our business practices and daily activities to help conserve energy and be mindful of our limited natural resources.
Digital Charting & Patient Records Management System – our clinical records and other data is entered and stored in electronic format, which greatly reduces the use of paper, as well as other chemicals such as x-ray developer. We’ve been “digital” in all of our locations for more than 5 years!
Energy-Efficient Materials and Equipment for Facility Upgrades – We continuously upgrade our equipment and facilities. We ask our contractors to provide us with floor plans, materials, and even decor that is both easy to clean and maintain and is environmentally friendly. For example, we are switching our operatory lights to LED as they need to be replaced. These use far less energy and are long-lasting.
Water & Electricity Conservation Efforts – many of our locations have instrument washing machines. These use less water than conventional scrubbing. Our staff and clinicians take good care of our equipment, including regular service and maintenance. This helps prevents issues such as leaks. We always follow proper infection control standards, and we also ensure we have plenty of instruments so that we only run our washing and sterilizing equipment as often as needed. Many of our offices have motion-detection lights installed, and we practice sensible habits such as turning off lights and equipment when they are not in use.
Paper, Plastics & Disposables Reduction – All of our staff break rooms and kitchen areas have regular, reusable dishes, cups, and silverware, just like you’d find in your own home. In addition, we have air hand dryers in many of our restrooms , and water fountains and coolers for patient and staff use. We use electronic and cloud storage for non-confidential documents to reduce paper usage.
We believe these are all smart business practices that help to help us to operate more efficiently, in addition to reducing our environmental footprint. We can always do more, and will keep working to improve our practices.
Happy Earth Hour!