“Greening” the AVMA Offices (or Your Clinic)

This is part 2 of our 3-part series on the AVMA’s recent efforts to “go green.” If you haven’t already read it, also check out part 1: Building renovations help AVMA go green

If you’re thinking about ways to make your veterinary clinic or office more eco-friendly, you might take a page from the AVMA’s playbook. AVMA Budget Director Kim Michael-Lee recently outlined for us some of the operational changes the AVMA has made to benefit the environment – and in many cases save money at the same time:

  • Cleaning: Our cleaning company has gone to a “no-CFC” cleaning product list.
  • Restroom Paper Supplies: We’ve gotten rid of toilet paper rolls and replaced them with multi-fold toilet paper. That means no more throwing quarter-rolls out. We’ve also moved to paper supplies that are 75% post-consumer wastepaper content for both toilet paper and hand towels in the restrooms.
  • Recycling: We recycle about 4.5 cubic yards of waste paper every week. We also recycle all of our old batteries (from flashlights, emergency lights, etc.), plus fluorescent light bulbs and construction supplies. In 2010 alone, the AVMA recycled more than 1,000 four-foot fluorescent lamps. We even found a way to recycle all of the old asphalt from our parking lot when we had it resurfaced in 2010.
  • Copiers:  The AVMA uses Energy Star copiers that both conserve energy and reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions. The ink products produce fewer consumables, which means there’s less to throw away.  Our color copiers use solid ink sticks instead of ink cartridges, and there’s minimal packaging involved, so it’s a nearly waste-free printing process. The solid ink sticks are also toxin free, making this a very environmentally conscious way to print.

Another place to look for ideas if you’re looking for ways to “green” your office or veterinary clinic is the Green Veterinary Practices section of the AVMA website.

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