Happy Earth Day!
Earth Day is one of my favorite days of the year. Since I was a young child, I always had a passion for keeping the planet clean. Captain Planet was a favorite childhood show and I loved recycling! That passion carried on into my adult life.
A few years ago, I re-evaluated my Earth contributions and realized I could still be doing more. This is when I decided to stop using plastic bags. I have done this for over 2.5 years and it’s like anything, it was challenging at first (because I’d forget my reusable bags), but now it’s second nature and quite easy. Habits just take a little bit of time and determination!
I want to go further every year to make habits the new normal. I have decreased my plastic straw usage. I found getting the service industry on track with decreasing straw use is important and it takes a lot of recurrent reminders that straws really aren’t needed for beverages. I also try to get creative with storage, using glass containers or mason jars to store and freeze foods in.
One of our biggest accomplishments was a few years ago when we built out my practice. It was an empty space and I wanted it to be safe for all the people that came into the building as well as the environment. I found this task was no easy feat! Below you will find the little details that have made the clinic safer for everyone and allowed us to feel good about the space we have created!
Creating a Chemically & Environmentally Friendly Clinic
- Demolition – No chemicals were used to remove old carpet glue and tiles, just old fashion hard work, some elbow grease and a few carbide blades and floor scraper!
- Framing & Drywall – Pretty standard here with the use of untreated wood and standard drywall practices
- Priming & Painting – No VOC Primer and No VOC Paint was applied to all wall surfaces
- Sub Flooring Pad – Eco-Friendly flooring pad was laid for insulation, sound dampening and comfort
- Flooring – Eco-Friendly Antique Strand Bamboo was chosen for the floor – FloorScore® Certified. Flooring is “snap & click” to avoid glue and chemicals
- Ceiling – Up-Cycled ceiling tiles were donated for use. These recycled tiles have been off-gassed for a number of years to remove harmful chemicals which are popular in today’s ceiling tile market
- Cabinets – Finished with No VOC Stain and No VOC Varnish
- Lighting – LED lights were installed to lessen the need for energy
- Tiles & Sealer – Ceramic tiles were chosen over manufactured floors and sealed with Eco-Friendly Sealer
- Walls & Shelving – Office wall was retrofitted with Up-Cycled heat treated Wood Pallets and Shelving was built from local, reclaimed cherry hardwoods
- Eco-Friendly cleaning supplies are used to disinfect the clinic
- All-Natural Soap (scent free) is provided at hand-washing stations, along with organic linen
- Air-Purifiers are used to continuously clean the air as well as multiple plants that fill the office space with fresh air
- “Shoe-Free” clinic which allows our patients to drop their shoes at the door to prevent commercial salt (during winter months) and other environmental toxins to be carried throughout the building
- Reverse osmosis water from the Home Environment Store to supply to staff and patients
- Environmentally friendly paper cups to serve water and organic tea
- Dimmable switches to preserve lightening and electricity
- Energy saving appliances (washer/dryer/controllable thermostat)
We know there are even more ways we can help the Earth become less toxic and more efficient. We are looking for ways to upgrade and evolve every day. I am always grateful for the opportunity to serve others and know this wouldn’t be possible without Mother Nature graciously providing the materials to thrive in.
My hopes are for everyone to make one change each year that will help the wounds of our Earth continue to heal. So that our children, grandchildren and future generations can live in a world that is about complete ‘oneness’ with all living and non-living entities.
Every day is Earth Day.
Stephanie, Owner, ARNP, FNP-C