Why it Pays to Go Green

Going green pays off. Literally. According to Nielsen, “42% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive…environmental impact..”

Tip: “Use environmentally friendly cleaning products, and, if you employ a service, make sure they do, too.”

75% LED bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent lights

That’s not a one-time decision either, reports Nielsen. These consumers “are more likely to buy repeatedly from a company if they know it is mindful of its impact on the environment.”

The good news? You don’t have to install solar panels on your roof or a windmill in your parking lot to demonstrate you care about the environment. Just follow the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle.  And, though the term “green” is recognized by almost everyone, it has been so overused that it has lost some of its impact. Instead, many companies now address the subject with terms like sustainability and resource efficiency.

As anyone in optical knows, swarf from the processing of polycarbonate is a huge problem. So is maintenance of your edging equipment. One tip? Make sure your edging has a water-recirculating filter system.

There are lots of other things you can do throughout your location to go green, too. Here are ten painless ways you can increase your commitment to sustainability.

  1. Recycle your used office supplies—especially toner and printer ink cartridges–and buy new green ones like no-staple staplers and refillable pens.
  2. When it comes to paper, cut down on printing, but when you must create a paper copy, use recycled paper and, when possible, print on both sides. And be sure to separate recyclable paper products from packaging that is not.
  3. Use environmentally friendly cleaning products, and, if you employ a service, make sure they do, too.
  4. Buy plants. They help recycle the air.
  5. Check your printers and computers to see if they have eco- or standby modes. If they do, use them.
  6. Replace incandescent lights with LED or compact fluorescent (CFL) lighting. They use 75% less energy than incandescents.
  7. Cut heat loss from windows and doors by adding weather stripping and caulking.
  8. Use natural products and pay attention to sourcing, using as many materials as possible from green vendors.
  9. Encourage employees to do everything from carpooling to never using disposable cups, plates, and cutlery at the office.
  10. If you have older toilets, put a brick in each tank to decrease the amount of water released into the bowl after flushing.


If you don’t have a formal program yet, start by creating a plan and benchmarking where are you now and your would-be end results. Want to know how well you’re doing on the ecological front? You can conduct a carbon/ecological footprint analysis at footprintnetwork.org.


Whatever steps you take, encourage your customers and patients to do the same. Offer green tips on your website or Facebook page. Spread the word…and save the environment.

What have you done to go green in your practice? Share in the conversation on Facebook here and tell us what steps you have taken.


Erinn Morgan