#1 Reduce & reuse

Reduce your energy consumption:

  • Turn off lights and equipment when not in use.
  • Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances.
  • Use natural lighting where possible.

Reduce your paper usage:

  • Switch to electronic health records and other digital documentation systems (such as practice management software).
  • Use recycled paper for printing.
  • Provide patients with electronic versions of patient education materials.

How to reduce waste:

  • Implement a recycling program (see below).
  • Consider using reusable items where possible.
  • Search for environmentally-friendly PPE products where possible.


#2 Educate and relate

Consider encouraging your patients to do the following:

  • Bring their own reusable water bottle: Instead of using disposable cups, patients could bring their own reusable water bottle to refill during their visit.
  • Bring their own bag: If a patient needs to take any materials home, they can bring their own reusable bag to reduce the use of plastic bags.
  • Use electronic resources: Where possible, patients can use digital patient forms, e-brochures, or online educational material.
  • Carpool, bike or use public transportation: Encourage your patients to consider carpooling, biking, or using public transport to get to and from their appointment.
  • Respect the recycling program in place: Explain how your recycling program works, and what patients can do to support it.

#3 Recycle, recycle, recycle

Are looking to set up a recycling program in your clinic? Then look no further.

…Have you considered?

  1. Paper recycling: To dispose of paper waste (including used patient information sheets, medical records, and cardboard boxes).
  2. Plastic recycling: To dispose of plastic waste and plastic packaging.
  3. Battery recycling: To dispose of batteries used in medical equipment, including lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries.
  4. Printer cartridge recycling: To dispose of ink and toner cartridges used in office equipment, including printers and copiers.
  5. E-waste recycling: To dispose of electronic waste, including old computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices.
  6. Medical equipment recycling: To dispose of equipment that is no longer in use.


Where to recycle?

Australian recycling programs are often managed by state and territory governments, so the specific regulations and guidelines may vary depending on where you work. To find out where to recycle specific items, a good first step is to refer to your local council or state government waste management entities.

If you are a member of the APodA, we can help look into this for you.

In the meantime, the Recycling Near You program offers an Australia-wide resource with information on recycling programs for specific items such as printer cartridges and electronic waste.

Are you a member of APodA with a great example of sustainability in your clinic to share? Get in touch.

Want to learn more about Green Podiatry? Read the paper and access more tips.