A common misconception about Going Green as a nurse goes something like this:"Why should I Go Green? I'm a nurse and it won't change the way I care for patients."
The thought behind that is that nurses deal with diseases, are task oriented, and help individuals to cope. Where's the chance for a green anything?
I used to think like this! That was before I truly understood what it meant to Go Green.
Whereas the Truth is it Changes Everything...
Going Green is more than putting cans in a recycling bin or planting a tree on Arbor Day ( although both are very worthwhile activities). Going Green is a way of looking at life a little differently, a fresh mindset if you will. And a fresh mindset results in fresh actions.
Here are some new ways of thinking I've experienced since deciding to Go Green.
- Going Green is about saving limited resources, including time, money and energy by being more efficient. Couldn't nurses use more of that?
- Going Green is about using resources wisely and with an eye to the future. We want access to resources in the years ahead when we need them, when our children and grandchildren need them.
- It's about disposing of waste properly, reducing or even eliminating waste before it is generated. Now when I take materials out of the supply cabinet, I ask, what part of this packaging can be recycled? Box, bag, overwrap, plastic container? Check it out, they may all be recycled. Even beyond that, when I talk to sales reps, I encourage them, "Hey any way you guys could reduce the packaging on this product? Less is more!" They are listening!
- Going Green means caring for the patient AND caring for the environment in which they live, work and play. Flushing toxic meds down the sink at the hospital shows a disregard for the water supply of the community. Carpooling to work uses less community resources, plus reduces greenhouse gas emissions. What's good for the individual is good for the community, is good for the state, the country, pretty much the earth!
- Going Green is just what nurses need to elevate their practice from disease care to health care. That's a paradigm shift that will change the way you care for your patients!