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10 Simple Ways to Go Green: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Restore

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April 22, 2020 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and there are reasons to celebrate our planet, despite the global pandemic. One silver lining from the COVID-19 pandemic is that nature is benefiting, from improved air quality with less cars on the road to animals roaming freely without human interference.

How do we go green at The OrthoBee Orthodontics?

At the OrthoBee Orthodontics in Fountain Valley, we are doing our part to reduce waste. We are digital whenever possible to reduce paper waste. We offer completely digital records (x rays, photos, scans of teeth), use electronic fax and energy-saving lights, and recycle our packages appropriately.

What are simple ways to go green?

Besides the more obvious ways to go green (like turning off the lights and washing full loads), here are 10 simple ways to go green while sheltering in place:

  1. Plan meals before grocery shopping. This will reduce the time and money you spend on your groceries, which is especially important during this pandemic.
  2. Make compost with left over food that you don’t eat. If you have any produce that has gone bad and you can’t use, try composting. Almost anything from your kitchen and garden can be composted, including eggshells, coffee grounds, cut flowers, newspapers, and paper filters. Avoid dairy and animal products in compost as they will cause the compost to smell and attract pests. You can compost in a Tupperware and store it in your freezer, under the sink, on a balcony. If you don’t garden, give it to someone who does.
  3. Avoid using tea bags and coffee pods to reduce waste. Use tea leaves or make French-pressed coffee instead. The tea leaves and coffee grinds can also be used in compost.
  4. Grow plants or plant a tree. Indoor plants not only make a space look more lively, but they clean the air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen. Studies have proven that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15 percent!), reduce stress levels and boost your mood. Our practice has live plants throughout our office for these reasons.
  5. Recycle unwanted clothing, towels and linens. Since many donation centers, like the Salvation Army, are not taking drop-off donations at this time, donate your old T-shirts and towels, and even newspapers to animal shelters. Some brands like Patagonia offer free repairs of damaged clothes while others (like H&M) will offer a discount for recycling your unwanted clothes.
  6. Pay bills online to save paper and stamps.
  7. Opt out of unwanted catalogs, credit card offers, faxes.
  8. Support environmental groups by donating money, volunteering, and/or signing petitions.
  9. Turn off the water when brushing/flossing your teeth and lathering up in the shower.
  10. Change to LED light bulbs wherever possible.

Together we can make a difference on our planet, not just for ourselves, but for countless generations ahead. Let’s make an imprint by reducing our carbon footprint.

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