5 ways to integrate sustainability into your 2018 Occupational Therapy practice

Niamh Allum
Niamh Allum • 10 January 2018

1.    Consider how you travel to work and at work 

Active Travel – is there a means of travel you could use that keeps you active? Many places offer the Cycle to Work scheme (normally up to £1000) and with electric bikes included in this, cycling to work continues to become more accessible for all. 

If your journey is too long to cycle, could you park further from work and walk or cycle some of the route? Not only would you be reducing your carbon footprint in driving less of a distance, but you would be engaging in positive self care to improve your physical and mental wellbeing.

Car sharing – Get to know those around you! Whilst this is often easier for those who work within static occupational therapy settings, the opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions, congestion, provide company for your commute and save money.

Public transport - unfortunately for many this has become more expensive with price rises in the new year but could it be something added in on occasion, leaving the car at home 1 day a week or using public transport for part of the journey?

2.    Engage in online learning and knowledge

FutureLearn – provide thousands of online free short courses (with certificates available for additional price). Including this course Achieving Sustainable Development available here:

Health Knowledge Sustainable Healthcare e-learning – Available here:…

OT Susnet Resources – use our resources already developed. Available here:…

OT Susnet Q&A – your opportunity to ask us any questions about sustainability in Occupational Practice. Available here:…

3. Share your knowledge with your team

Too often within busy environments consideration of sustainable practice is far from many minds. Could you spend 5 minutes with your team sharing a resource, providing an inservice or implementing a small test of change? The short term time could reap long term benefit.

3.    Look to the outdoors for treatment ideas

What resources do you have to hand that you could utilise within your outdoor environment? Could you consider implementing some or part of your intervention outdoors? Or maybe you could access a local green space for group work? There are often third sector organisations keen to be involved in projects with local services, with organisations such as Trellis leading the way in Scotland.

4.    Consider aids and equipment

Recycle, recycle, recycle. Does a person have something in their home that could be made into the aid they are needing and when equipment is no longer needed, how do we find this out and provide it for another person?

Where does our equipment come from? Within many services now, cheapest price items are procured, but are they sustainable in this? Could we be identifying equipment and aids which are sustainable to produce and provide?


As mentioned above please do add questions to the Q&A and start discussions so we can share best practice.

Thanks for reading,



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