Sustainability to us is about all the little things we can do so our business does less harm to the world we all share. Below is our plan for these little things. Please steal and copy the things we’re doing well and use them in your own home or business. Please let us know (gently) about the things we’re missing or could do better.
Information & Education
Thomas Monahan ABOC and Samuel Adelman OD are the Portland Eye Care Green Team. A sustainability guide is a available to employees on our intranet as well as under the sustainability heading on our public website EYEPDX.COM. Quarterly green team meetings take place on the first Monday of every quarter and the results are communicated to all employees via e-mail and tasks within our records system. Our sustainability status will be communicated to the public via our website, e-mail, and office postings. All new employees receive an orientation including the information on our sustainability guide. Any employee or member of the public can suggest changes to our sustainability practices contacting either member of our Green Team and are encouraged to review resources and best practices on Sustainability at Work Website.
Materials and Waste
We have committed to using at least 30% post-consumer recycled paper for all office printing, and are experimenting using higher percentages and will adopt them if printing quality is adequate. Boxes from glasses and contact lens orders shipped to our office are saved in order to be reused when we ship orders to optical labs and patients. All bags ordered for patient purchases are recycled paper and only given out when requested (note that there are a few plastic bags we received from another optometry office that we will continue to give out, but no more of this type of bag will be ordered). Whenever possible, products should be are ordered from local Oregon or NW distributors and optical labs. Select-a-size paper towels are purchased so we can use less as these can’t be recycled. Patients are asked if they want a receipt before one is printed for them. Durable dishware is available for employee use. Paper cups made from 100% renewable and sustainable materials are available for patient use. Natural cleaning methods such as old newspapers used for cleaning windows will be used when possible. Cleaning products have Green Seal, EcoLogo, or EPA Design for Environment (DfE) designations (Safer Choice).
Patients are encouraged to donate old glasses at our office (Dr. Adelman will take these to the Amigos program regularly to be given to patients in developing countries along with an eye exam). Other materials such as alkaline batteries will be recycled at nearest center found on Metro Find a Recycler Site (note that nearest alkaline batteries recycling center is Division Hardware). More recycling information can be accessed on the Recycling at Work website. Paper use is minimized by office communications and patient record-keeping done by means of electronic health records system and office intranet. Our office is paperless in terms of patient check-in and intake forms being completed via our online portal or kiosk in our office with medical record keeping and ordering completed electronically as well.
Air is set no lower than 72 degrees and heat should be set no higher than 70 degrees. Heating and cooling is manually turned off each evening and over the weekend. Indoor lighting is turned off at night except the one emergency light and the window LED lights. HVAC system is regularly serviced by building owner, and verified as completed by our Green Team. Windows are double pane. All new appliance purchases are Energy Star qualified. Office cleaning is done by our staff during business hours not by night janitorial staff. All lighting installed during build-out of our office was LED, and all new installations in our office will be LED as well.
We installed bicycle parking in front of the East windows of our practice. A pump, flat tire kit, and lock are available for use by our staff and patients. Indoor bike parking is available for our staff in the back of our office. Employees and patients are encouraged to walk, bike, carpool, or use mass transit to get to our office. See Trimet Trip Planner and Portland Bicycle Map for more information.
Tap water is available for drinking water. 100% sustainable and renewable material cups are available for patient use. Low-flow aerators have been installed on bathroom and contact lens room faucets. Employees are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles. Durable cups are available.
We will use our local businesses whenever possible for food, meetings, gifts, prizes and supplies. Dr. Adelman is a board member of the Division Clinton Business association and our office will participate in the Division Clinton Business association litter pick up, street fair, and other events. We will continue to donate to a wide range of local organizations with a special focus on schools and organizations in SE Portland (see the giving section of our website for more details). We will spend our advertising dollars primarily on local media including SE Examiner and KBOO Radio.