Tick off 10 actions to cut CO2 by 10% in your occupational therapy department
1. Drive less
Highlight alternative travel arrangements with your team, group together home visits, explore flexible working and develop a sustainable travel plan with your clients.
The average car emits out nearly 4 tonnes of CO2 per year! Encourage car pooling with colleagues and slow down to save fuel and cause less co2. Try grouping together home visits. Walking or cycling to work and appointments makes us fitter and more dynamic! Are there changing facilities and secure bike parking? Discuss the health co-benefits of walking, cycling and using public transport with clients and colleagues. Work from home once a week or fortnight and try tele/video conferencing to replace meetings. Taking fewer car journeys is the one of the cheapest ways to cut emissions!
2. Turn them off
Run a switch-off campaign. Even low-energy lightbulbs are wasting energy if the room is empty. Inform clients of economic and environmental benefits of switching off and of buying energy efficient electrical equipment such as fridges.
Even low-energy lightbulbs are wasting energy if the room is empty. The same goes for those carbon hungry monitors, computers, printers and other electrical goods on standby. Check with Estates that heating is at a comfortable level and can be turned off where possible. Avoid air conditioning.
3. Paper- less
Buy recycled paper and monitor quarterly paper consumption. Set the printer to double-sided and reduce your paper usage by sending documents electronically.
4. Including sustainability in activity analysis
Explore ways to include sustainability and cutting carbon in the performance context of activity analysis. For example, monitor energy use: only boil as many cups of water as you need and when cooking on the hob, match the pan to the ring and cover it to save energy...and flavour!
5. Equipment provision
Clinically reason whether equipment provision is essential in each case. Keep in mind the principle of 'reduce, reuse, recycle' in equipment provision, and highlight this with the rest of your team.
6. Gardening and Growing
Encourage your team to develop an OT garden or allotment space – grow your own fruits and veggies. Explore gardening opportunities with your clients for them individually or as part of a group. See:
How sustainable are the cups of tea that your team and your clients are making? Try buying an energy efficient kettle and monitoring water use. Could the tea be ethically sourced, the bag composted and the packaging 'reduced, reused, recycled'?
8. Natural Environment
Promote community opportunities where your clients can actively engage with the natural environment.
A particularly useful article, by Barton and Pretty: "What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health. A Multi Study Analysis"
9. Mindfulness in ADLs
A simple and free way to enhance individual wellbeing which can reduce consumption and materialism: encourage your clients to perform activities of daily living mindfully.
Did you know that mindful eating can lead to remaining satisfied whilst consuming less food? You can find out more from "Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food" by J Bays (Boston: Shambhala, 2009) (there's a preview on Google Books). [/collapse]
10. Preventative Healthcare
Engage with health promotion issues and facilitate a more upstream approach to wellbeing. Explore the many health co-benefits of a low carbon lifestyle with your clients: www.carbonaddict.org
Make use of the 10:10 Decarbonising Care flyer - available here.
Download the poster version of the 10:10 OT checklist: