At Phoenix Animal Wellness we want to extend this ethos to our work environment. This is no easy feat, long gone are the days when we boil up syringes and needles and use them over and over again. We are much more aware of contamination and infection and we know that there are some pretty angry and resistant bacteria out there, waiting to cause problems if we don’t do everything properly.
There are still things we can do though to cut down on waste. The medical and veterinary industries produce vast quantities of non-recyclable waste, so we need to think about how we can reduce producing it in the first place.
The biggest culprit is the surgery room, where everything has to be sterile and kept 100% clean, but there are ways to reduce waste even here:
A surprising amount of our waste is recyclable. Many of our products come in cardboard outers and are stored in plastic containers that can be recycled in NZ. Having multiple bins in all our work rooms makes the task of separating our rubbish much easier. We have requested that our orders arrive in cardboard and are packaged with paper, cold products arrive in reusable mini ‘cold bags’ rather than polystyrene.
You may have noticed when you enter most vet clinics, that you are bombarded by walls of plastic shelving. Pet food and pharmaceutical companies provide vet clinics with this shelving free of charge, usually, it is manufactured overseas, and when they are updated the old ones are not recycled, or even removed by the drug companies.
We decided to build made to measure shelving instead. The plywood came from an end of line recycling yard, and we have built them to fit the dimensions of our dog foods and flea products. We did get help with the cost of them from Black Hawk and Royal Canin, who we persuaded that this was a more environmentally friendly and sustainable system.
All our lighting is low energy, and our heating and cooling are by heat pump, the most environmentally friendly way to control temperature, especially if your electricity is geothermal.
Where possible we use environmentally friendly cleaning products. This is not always possible as sometimes we have to be decidedly unfriendly to the viruses and bacteria that are in the environment!
We do, of course, use recycled, fully biodegradable loo roll!