Salt Chiropractic - The Environmentally friendly choice
Updated: Jan 7, 2021
Did you know that at Salt Chiropractic a part of our mission is to be a sustainable practice and to lead by example to inspire others to reduce their environmental footprint? We do this because our own personal health is so closely intertwined with that on the planet. The air we breathe, the quality of the food we eat and the water we drink, all come down to the health of the planet. And like Chiropractic being an inside out approach to health, we need to start from us as individuals (the insides) and make decisions that will help push policy makers (the outside) to make bigger global changes. We don’t need a few people being perfect, we need the majority of the people making better decisions.
I have done a lot of research (and fell down a couple of rabbit holes) in order to make the best choices for the practice. With every decision you make though, there will be benefits and drawbacks to yourself and to the environment, and so it’s about making the best decision you can make, not about being perfect. Things that were important to me to take into consideration were; reducing (plastics & virgin resource paper products), Re-use, & Recycle or compost - ensure a circular system at the end of the life of the products we use. Here are some of the decisions we’ve made at Salt Chiropractic that will help to contribute to the future of the planet that we have to live on.
Paperless client notes and computer system: Our system is all electronic so we can limit the amount of paper printed. This helps with our sustainability goals but also in ease of record keeping. Don’t worry, the record keeping meets all of the Australian and international guidelines.
Paper-free face ”paper” on the tables: Most Chiropractic practices have a roll of paper that is pulled across between each client to make sure that you’re not putting your face in someone else’s face germs. At Salt Chiropractic in South Brisbane we have opted for a bamboo and organic cotton blend sheet that is used once and then machine washed after each use. By using organic fibres like this we also reduce the micoplastic waste that comes from the wash when using microfibre towelling, and at the end of the life of these face sheets they can be composted.
Paper-free hand towels: This one seems simple, many places will have a hand towel that can be used multiple times. But in the interest of hygiene we have opted to use hand towels that are single-use and then when you are done, throw it in the basket and it gets washed alongside the face “paper”.
Plant-based chemical free laundry: Our laundry detergent we use is all natural, no plastic packaging to reduce the waste we are sending into the waterways.
Recycled Toilet Paper & Tissues: I have tested many brands over the years (as I use this in my home too) and while I could provide a softer toilet paper that’s made from sustainable bamboo, I believe that recycling only works if people buy the recycled products. As such we use recycled toilet paper & tissues that are individually wrapped in recycled paper to help reduce our load on virgin resources, but also cut down on plastic packaging.
Recycled printing paper: We do have to print things from time to time, and when we do we use a recycled paper – again, recycling only works if people buy the recycled products. After that paper is used, we re-purpose it (as long as it doesn’t have personal information on it) for our own internal note pads. And when we are done with that, or anything that has personal information is shredded and we take that shredding to be composted.
Recycled cardboard Business cards, flyers & folders: Our business cards are printed on recycled paper. Any flyers that we create and hand out are printed on recycled paper, and the folder that all new clients receive is also printed on recycled paper. All of these can be recycled of composted when you’re done with them.
Laminated forms: Many of the forms that we use in-house are laminated so that we can scan them, clean them off and then use them again and again to help reduce how much paper we are using.
Online forms: Where possible, we encourage new clients to fill out their forms online before arriving. This makes things easier for us, but also helps to reduce our paper use.
Online statements: Where possible and at your preference, we prefe r to email you any statements, invoices and receipts that you may need for private health reasons. Most funds allow you to claim online or through an app very easily these days.
Continuous Ink Tank Printer: Rather than printer cartridges, a continuous ink tank printer stores the ink inside tanks in the printer and can hold a lot more than a cartridge. Which means you get more pages printed for each re-fill and so less plastic cartridge waste. They cost a bit more initially, but will save you (and the planet) so much in the long run, with one ink refill (that costs about the same as a normal cartridge replacement), typically covering 1500-3000 pages (brand dependent) as opposed to 150-300.
Plant-based cleaning products: From the wipes we use on the table (made from bamboo also) to the hand soap in the bathroom & the toilet cleaner, all our cleaning products are natural and waterway friendly where possible. We do still have some harsher chemicals that we use on high touch points to kill germs or for where more “grit” is necessary. But wherever possible we are conscious of what is going into our waste and our waterways.
Products: I don’t sell or recommend a lot of products. When I do however, they have been personally tested by me and I am happy with where they are coming from. One such product in particular is our pillows. These are made by a local company, they are manufactured using sustainable materials (even recycled zippers) and packaged plastic-free. And at the end of the life of the pillow you can send it back and the foam will be re-purposed as carpet underlay.
Superannuation: I believe it is important that where we put our money and investments can be more important than the small things we do in our personal lives and homes. So the superannuation fund I have chosen, does not invest in mining of fossil fuels, weapon manufacturing, worker exploitation, or promotion of gambling. We as consumers need to be more aware of where our money is going, are we feeding the machine or are we taking a stand?
Are there places we can grow? Absolutely! And I would love to hear some of your feedback! Here are some of the areas of growth that we already have our eye on
Electricity – Switch to a provider that uses renewables – currently out of my control.
Solar panels – again currently out of my control as a renter.
LED lighting in the practice to cut down on electricity usage.
Less printing – find other ways to give people the information they need – maybe emails or videos.
Rechargeable batteries in all devices needing batteries – this is in the process of being swapped over already as soon as existing batteries die.
Re-fillable cleaning products, rather than recycling or disposing of the packaging, purchase products that come in re-fillable containers that you can purchase refill pouches you send back to be re-used.
I hope this information has inspired you to make some easy changes in your home, or your practice if you’re another Chiropractor. I might down the track to a video on easy changes you can make in your own life. If you want to discuss with me any of the products we use, please feel free to reach out. But most of all, I hope you know that the decision to get your Chiropractic care at Salt Chiropractic, is also putting your money towards a business that supports the environment.