Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | June 10, 2014

Are There Hidden Plastics in Your Life?

Plastic is ubiquitous.  It’s in everything from water bottles to blow-up mattresses to toothbrushes, and tragically much of it ends up floating in the garbage gyres in the world’s oceans.  Plastic is made from polluting petroleum, a nonrenewable resource, and the toxins from it can leach out and take residence in you, sometimes with severe health consequences.  It doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are some tips to rid your life of plastics:stainlesslunchboxframed

Bottled Water- Drinking out of a BPA-free glass or stainless steel water bottle not only tastes better, but saves you from contributing to the mounting plastic in our oceans.

Takeout- Just say “no” to plastic leftover containers and keep a stock of reusable stainless steel or glass containers on hand for “doggie bags.”

Groceries- Shop at a co-op or bulk food store, buy fresh from farmers’ markets, and bring your own reusable containers and bags.  Even so-called BPA-free cans and paper milk cartons may contain petroleum-based plastic linings.

Health and Beauty Products- Many beauty supplies are made in small individual plastic packaging.  Opt for DIY or sustainably packaged bulk products.

Virgin Plastic Toys- Don’t buy them.  Whether it is a child’s fire engine or a gaming consul, consider that plastics sent to landfill may never degrade.

Cleaning- Trade your synthetic sponges and virgin-tree paper towels for cloths made of compostable cotton and natural cellulose.  Turn those old T-shirts into cleaning rags.

DIY- The next time you’re thinking about buying a plastic bottle of any kind think about whether it’s cheaper, better for the environment, and more fun for you to make it yourself in a reusable container.

Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | June 3, 2014

Green Purchases Make Change

Where do you expect your water bottle, your lunchbox, your grocery bags and every other container you ever used will be in twenty years?  Hopefully you have answered “in working order” or “recycled into other forms” or “sustainably composting back to the earth”.

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Think of yourself as a voter rather than a consumer.  Each time you purchase a product you have just voted for the values of that company and the climate of our future economy.  

Was it an impulsive buy such as a petroleum-based plastic bottle of water?  This will take you thirty seconds to drink and end up in our oceans and our food.  Did you think ahead and champion the company selling reusable bottles made of stainless steel that will last for a decade or more?  Your votes are not empty, be a steward of our environment and strengthen the green economy.

There is power in purchasing a reusable, compostable, carbon neutral product over an outdated polluting single-use container.  You are part of the more than 2 billion Aspirationalist consumers, turning the wheels of the burgeoning green economy looking to the future.

An international study of 21,000+ consumers concluded, “Positive Influencers: Nearly nine in ten Aspirational consumers say ‘I encourage others to buy from socially and environmentally responsible companies (88%)’”.

Together we can use our green buying power to impact economic and social change and on a ecological level prevent our oceans from ingesting plastic.  Support the sustainable green economy with your everyday purchases large and small.  By casting your green votes with every purchase the green alternative will blossom into a sustainable status quo.

Want to cast your vote for a greener future?  As a valued member of our EDA community, you can now save money on daily home and office supplies while decreasing your environmental foot print!  Join the EDA Green buying group and get great discounts on green office and cleaning products through a values aligned company, thegreenoffice.com.

Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | May 13, 2014

Green Your Work Out!

You exercise, do yoga or play sports to feel better right?  But are you sure you’re not exposing yourself to unnecessary toxins in your work out clothes and routines?

Follow these simple guidelines and bring more “happy” to your healthy habits:

  • GImagereen your gear. Look for gear that’s made with recycled materials, or natural alternatives to petroleum-based options.  Like yoga mats that end up in the compost bin, not the landfill, when they have lived out their useful life.
  • Say no to BPAs.  Staying hydrated is mission critical so choose a glass or stainless steel water bottle and know you’re not ingesting hormone-disrupting chemicals along with your H2O.
  • Check the labels.  Make sure your fitness wear matches your values.  Seek out brands using sustainably sourced material for fabrics, like bamboo, or which donate a portion of proceeds to charitable causes whose missions resonate with you.
  • Look for a greener gym. Is your gym among a growing number of green fitness centers using solar energy, serving local organic food, or purchasing carbon offsets?   Maybe it’s time to find one.
Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | May 6, 2014

Tips for a Greener Mothers’ Day!

This is one holiday you absolutely can’t forget, even if it was invented to sell more greeting cards. But there is much you can do to honor the Mothers in your life, while treading lightly on our first Mother: Mother Earth.

Here are our top tips for a greener Mothers’ Day:

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• Give her an experience. Most Mothers value time with their kids, no matter their age, so plan a nature hike or picnic, instead of buying her something she really doesn’t need. If she likes alone time, offer to make her a relaxing hot bath with natural bubble bath, her favorite magazine and a vegetable wax candle.

• Go organic. Organic flowers are free from pesticides, so choose ones that won’t expose your Mom to nasty chemicals when she takes in their fragrance.

• Shop in your garden. Pick a bunch of posies from your garden, or snip some
favorite herbs for Mom and arrange them
in a ceramic pot you already have. Tie a
reclaimed ribbon around it and you’re good to go!

• Fair trade chocolate is a sweet treat. If chocolates are her thing, seek out brands that are certified
fair trade and rest assured that the farmer that picked Mom’s chocolate was paid a fair wage.

• Ditch the pre-made card. Hand made Mothers’ Day cards say so much more than store bought varieties. Include a picture of you with Mom and you’ll be sure to bring a smile to her face.

• Make a donation in her honor. Sponsor an orphaned baby elephant or “adopt” an injured dolphin and show Mom what a good person she raised.

Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | April 29, 2014

Nature Calling!

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir

 With most of the planet finally enjoying the nice weather of spring, this is a perfect time to step away from electronics and out into the great outdoors.  While we know it feels good to be outside in nature, there’s research that shows being in nature benefits our minds, bodies and spirits.

These benefits include:

  • ImageA Healthy dose of Vitamin D.  Spending even 10-15 minutes outside in the sunshine, gives us a nice dose of this vitamin that’s essential for strong immune systems and supportive of strong teeth.
  • Improved Mood. Allowing our bodies to be surrounded by the sights and smells in nature has been shown to improve our state of mind, and to aid in combating depression.
  • Happier Kids.  Taking kids outside helps them do better in school and has been shown to support their overall well-being.

Here are our top suggestions to get you out in Nature:

  • Hike it.  Start small and plan a short hike in a park near your home.
  • Bike it.  Dust off those bikes and take them for a spin.
  • Make it a habit.  Start your day with a 20-minute walk outside and set yourself up for a better day, everyday.
  • Put your hands in it.  Gardening outside gives you exposure to healing sunlight and the opportunity to grow your own healthy food.
  • Vacation in it.  Plan your next vacation by building in time in nature and deepen the positive impact of your time away from work.
Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | April 15, 2014

My Green Office Gives Me “Crazy Satisfaction”!

EDA member and 2014 Green Dentistry Conference speaker, Dr. Charles Cuprill , DMD shares his insights on his green dental practice, and amalgam waste.

Tell me a little about yourself, and your dental practice.CharlesCuprill

My name is Charles Cuprill and I am a general dental implant dentist in Orlando, Florida. When I left a corporate practice to open my own, Orlando Dental & Implant Studio, I knew I wanted to become as green as possible. My wife really opened my eyes to sustainability, but I took the baton and ran with it. My goal was to make my 2,400 sq foot dental office as green as possible. I worked with LEED contractors to purchase no VOC paint, cork flooring, quartz counters and FSC certified cabinetry.  We focused on decreasing the office’s power and waste. I worked with my dental representative to find the greenest products including products that are biodegradable and environmentally safe.  After I attended the Eco-Dentistry Association’s  Green Dentistry Conference I was even more inspired!

What has been the most unexpected benefit of having a green dental office?

The most unexpected benefit of having a green office is the crazy satisfaction! I get a kick out of knowing that I have an amalgam separator in my mechanical closet and that toxic material isn’t entering our water supply. My office only generates 3 to 4 bags of garbage a week, as opposed to 3 or 4 bags a day.

What green initiative are you most proud of?

I am proud of my amalgam separator, because it was a decision I consciously made. It’s not required in the state of Florida, but it is so important, I think it should be. I feel so strongly, I created a Change.org petition to get separators to be required in the state of Florida.

Dr. Cuprill’s journey to install an amalgam separator will be one of the subjects covered in the program “Amalgam: Science, Safety and the Environment” at the 2014 Green Dentistry Conference, held at the Sundance Resort on October 17th and 18th 2014.

Dr. Charles Cuprill, DMD is a general implant dentist in Orlando, Florida. Over the past five years he has been incorporating green dental initiatives that reduce waste and overall consumption at his practice Orlando Dental & Implant Studio .

Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | April 11, 2014

One Hygienist’s Journey to Green Dentistry

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For this week’s guest blog we are honored to hear directly from longtime EDA member Kathleen Bernardi.

Please tell us a little about yourself, your practice and what inspired you to be a leader in green dentistry.

I am 57 years young and I have been a Registered Dental Hygienist for 35 of those years! I have been married for 34 years, yes…to the same man, and together we have three sons. I truly believed that I would retire practicing in my last “Dentist’s” office of 18 years. However…I experienced a number of crises in my own health and ended up quitting my job in order to devote myself to my healing. I opened my own dental practice (RDH’s in Ontario can do this without a dentist), and had to complete reports for the municipal building department on water usage in dental offices. This research began my journey down the green dentistry path. Everything else fell into place after I stumbled upon the Eco-Dentistry Association website!

You recently had an experience that led you to look into mercury and its environmental impact. Tell us about that.

I was seriously looking into the possibility of having a dentist-friend of mine see patients here a few days a week for their restorative work. I found out that while amalgam separators catch mercury waste before it exits the office into the sewers, I did not like the idea of contaminating the lines in my home office, and even if minimal, my septic bed. I live on a very ecologically-sensitive piece of property and realized that no amount of mercury accumulation in my home and on my land was going to be acceptable. In the end, I decided not to add a dentist to my practice.

Why are you concerned about mercury contamination?

It is an issue because most of us are oblivious to mercury’s ability to bioaccumulate in ecosystems and its significant negative effects on human health and the environment. While many dentists are no longer placing mercury fillings they are still drilling them out and replacing them, which I believe can leave their patients, their staff and the environment exposed to unacceptable levels of mercury exposure.

You are a Silver Certified GreenDOC™ practice. What green initiative in your office are you most proud of?

My water conservation! My property is situated on the Oak Ridges Moraine, an environmentally-protected area that is a significant water source for surrounding municipalities.

If you could offer just one piece of advice to help your colleagues become a little more environmentally friendly, what would it be?

Treat your office as if it were your home! Would you want your children or grandchildren staying with you for a week exposed to airborne toxins from disinfectants and dental materials?

Kathleen Bernardi is a Registered Dental Hygienist with over 30 years of clinical experience and proud owner of Woodland Dental Hygiene, an independent dental hygiene clinic. Her holistic, integrative approach is born from her commitment to preventative health in her own life and she believes that the opportunity to share this with others is creating a new and exciting model of oral health care delivery!

 

 

Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | April 2, 2014

Happy Earth Month! It All Adds Up

While we know we have to do our part to help the environment, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and just do nothing.  Step out of apathy and follow these top ten tips of easy steps we can all take to start this Earth Month off on the right foot.

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Happy Earth Month!

  • Bring it: Your reusable water bottle that is.  According to the EPA, only about 9% of our plastic waste is recycled. Great reusable options made from BPA-free glass and stainless steel are readily available.
  • Walk it: Heavens knows we could all use a little more exercise.  Walking in the neighborhoods where we live yields benefits beyond the waistline: you just meet a nice neighbor or find a fresh lemon growing on a tree.
  • Refuse it: Next time a server offers you a paper napkin you don’t really need or a package of ketchup you know you aren’t going to use, just say “no” and your footprint will be just a little lighter.
  •  Ride it: It’s spring and bike riding can be a great way to do your local errands, or to spend an afternoon with family.  It’s fun and totally non-polluting.
  • Reuse it: Instead of packing your lunch in a disposable bag, pick up a cool reusable lunch bag or stainless steel tin set and food will stay just as fresh.
  • Swap it:  When seasons change so do our wardrobes, so instead of buying new, organize a clothing swap with friends and shop in each other’s closets.
  • Fix it: Our landfills are already overflowing with stuff, some of which could be repaired instead of tossed.  There’s no reason to throw out that shirt that just needs a new button sewn on, or to get rid of headphones that just need a new “ear bud”.
  • Make it: At home.  Prepare just one additional meal at home this month instead of doing take out.  This will help reduce the more than 100 million plastic disposable utensils tossed in the US each year.
  •  Repurpose it: Instead of getting rid of that old bookcase, consider painting it and giving it a new life, keeping it out of landfill. 
  •  Grow it: This is a great time of year to plant a few seedlings instead of making a trip to the market.  Even if you’ve only got room for a few small pots, try growing fresh herbs.  You’ll help your wallet and the Earth.

There are so many opportunities to make little changes that can add up to a lot of impact.  Start wherever you are and make this Earth Month count!

 

Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | March 27, 2014

Spring Clean the Toxins in Your Home

Spring is the perfect time to shift into cleaning mode, giving us the opportunity to rid our homes of toxic products and processes that are taxing our health and our planet.  Here are some of the toxins lurking in your home, and ideas for alternatives.

  • ImagePhosphates. Petroleum in your dish soap?  Seems impossible, but most conventional options contain phosphates, derived from petroleum. These chemicals pollute our water streams after use.  Choose biodegradable, phosphate-free options, or better yet, tried and true methods like white vinegar, salt and lemon juice.
  • Toulene. This chemical is added to many solvents like stain removers, and even nail polishes.  The EPA has classified it as carcinogen.  Read your labels and avoid it.
  • BPAs These endocrine disrupting chemicals are prevalent in most plastics, like water bottles and food storage containers.  Even most aluminum food cans are lined with it.  Microwaving food in plastic accelerates the release of BPAs and should be avoided.  Spring is the perfect time to convert to glass jars, stainless steel containers or ceramic storage options.  Repurposing existing containers saves money and has environmental benefits.
  • Chlorine Bleach. That “fresh smell” after cleaning with bleach is actually hazardous to our lungs, especially for those like babies or others with compromised immune systems.  And chlorine bleach causes havoc with sensitive eco-systems after we flush it down the drain.  Choose chlorine-free options.
  • Triclosan Another endocrine disrupter prevalent in everything from toothpaste to deodorant and anti-bacterial soaps. Research scientists at the Natural Defense Resources Council have determined that after brushing your teeth with toothpaste containing Triclosan, blood levels of the chemical significantly increase due to the highly absorbent nature of our sensitive oral tissues.  Read the labels on your personal care products and avoid those containing this chemical.
  • Diethyl phthalate.  This chemical is commonly found in cleaning products.  Consider buying greener cleaning products, like those from Seventh Generation and Green Works to avoid this chemical, or making your own.

Here’s to your fresh and natural Spring home!

Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | March 20, 2014

Calling all Leaders in Green Dentistry!

Want to leverage your high tech office to gain patients and reduce overhead? Or meet other leaders in green dentistry? Or find the best green products on the market?

You’re in luck!

The Eco-Dentistry Association is hosting the 2014 Green Dentistry Conference on October 17th and 18th, 2014 at Robert Redford’s gorgeous Sundance Resort in Provo, Utah. We want you to be there!

sundancecreek

Experience exclusive courses like:

1. Creating your Dream, Green Practice

2. How Women are Changing Dentistry

3. Successfully Marketing the Green Practice

4. Dr. Paul Feurerstein’s Top High-Tech Picks

As a member of the Eco-Dentistry Association, your conference registration, including gourmet meals and 12 CE units, is only $599.   Register before March 31st 2014  to claim your $500 in savings!

Secure your place among the exceptional group of dental professionals leading the way to dentistry’s green future. 

>>>>>> Click Here to Register

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