Treading Lightly in Green Nephrology

Simon Daniel's picture

Becoming a Green Nephrology Rep - well, for me it seemed quite logical as I am 'E.A.R.' environmental awareness representative for our Trust's green 'Treading Lightly' campaign, so why not join the 2 together - hence the name of our green poster at BRS of 'Treading Lightly in Green Nephrology.'  Work in one area complementing work in the other.

There are a few hurdles to overcome like space to accommodate extra bins for recycling. People are willing but not having the time to do anything about it. My own work as a vascular access nurse is incredibly demanding and leaving me feeling that I cannot do the green campaigns justice. At a time that we are trying as a unit to reduce the reliance on using lines for dialysis I seem to spend 105% of my daily time involved in vascular access and it seems like I cannot even dedicate -5% of my time to our green agendas. Of course reducing the reliance on plastic lines will ultimately reduce resources. I am very fortunate to work with a team of enthusiastic people wanting to make changes and willing to work towards reducing our impact on the world and its resources. Having a consultant and general managers who are willing to lead and forge ahead with ideas and the contacts to get things done is a great help. It is not only at the top, we have people of all levels with ideas and the motivation to make a difference.

We are investigating reuse of post R.O. water to retrofit existing buildings and also our new hospital build projects (it is possible we may be able to provide the grey water for the whole of our new hospital which is currently being built if we can get over a few hurdles...), centralised concentrate, double sided printing, agendas and minutes of meetings projected onto a screen instead of copious copies printed for such meetings, reuse of envelopes instead of using fresh ones, reducing black bin use and increasing recycling in offices, with more ideas coming on a daily basis. Projects both big and small are being considered at our monthly 'R.E.G.' renal environmental group meetings with the determination that we will reduce our impact on our environment.

We are going to hold another Green Nephrology Day at the beginning of December where we can use the posters from the Green Nephrology Conference to show our unit the great things other units are doing. It will be a good time for us to get staff on board to think about recycling post Christmas with all the vast amounts of paper, cardboard, trees, food and other resources used or thrown away.

Simon Daniel is Renal Access Specialist and Green Nephrology Local Representative at the Richard Bright Renal Unit, North Bristol NHS Trust

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