The world celebrates Earth Day today…a reminder that every individual and organization must hold itself accountable for its environmental footprint, especially as climate change continues to impact the world. Benco Dental got started early because they believe “every day should be Earth Day” and they’re offering 11 products to inspire dental practices nationwide to protect the planet. In this article, learn more about the new and existing green initiatives at Benco Dental, meet three dentists who have been featuring environmentally-conscious efforts at their practices for years, and discover 11 ways every dental practice can bring green efforts to life today.
Which green initiatives at Benco Dental began with their home office build-out 10 years ago?
A decade ago, the nation’s largest independently-owned dental distributor constructed its home office in Pittston, Pennsylvania to be a LEED Silver Certified building, using recycled materials and environmentally- friendly lighting and plumbing.
Since then, Benco has led the market by:
- transitioning its field service fleet to smaller, more efficient vans, and
- transitioning home office electric to renewables to further reduce their carbon footprint and build a more efficient and sustainable Benco.
Recently featured in Times-Tribune and Citizens’ Voice for their early adoption in 2016 of electric car charging stations, Benco is bringing other initiatives to life that will reduce their environmental impact.
Want to read about how a few dentists have incorporated green standards at their practices successfully?
Catch up with Dr. Joseph G. Landry II in Seville, Ohio who reducing his practice’s “water footprint” by transitioning from wet vacuum and wet model trimmer to dry equivalents; making full use of digital radiographs, thereby eliminating the need for film, developer and fixer; and more.
Hear from Dr. Benjamin Farrow, DDS, FAGD at Monroe Street Family Dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin, whose commitment to sustainability started early. Read more about some effective areas of his dental practice such as sustainable flooring, recycled carpet, low-toxin adhesives and paints, plus reclaimed pillars, doors and furniture.
Meet Dr. Donna Miller at Creekwood Dental Arts in Waco, Texas, who earned an Incisal Edge Design Competition Award for her green initiatives in 2014. If any of the many environmentally conscious aspects of her dental practice sparks a “conservation conversation” among patients, Dr. Donna Miller said she and her staff feel like they’ve done their job.
Benco Dental’s Analytical Operations Manager Bob King is photographed at the home office in Pittston, PA on April 14 by Citizens’ Voice photographer Mark Moran. King will celebrate 17 years as an associate with Benco this summer.
What’s next in green initiatives at Benco Dental designed to protect the Earth?
Watch for these green initiatives at Benco Dental in the months ahead:
· Transitioning from traditional to e-vehicles, which have a lower carbon impact, by
- incenting their outside salesforce to drive electric,
- investigating how and when they might transition their field service fleet from traditional to electric vehicles, and
- advocating for a national investment in an improved e-vehicle charging network.
· Implementing their At-Home Working (AHW) strategy, announced yesterday, with no more than 70 percent of associates working at the home office and more virtual (versus in-person) meetings…reducing commuter miles driven and flights taken.
· Calculating the carbon impact of their supply chain activities, with a plan to lower the impact of those activities through different purchasing and transportation decisions, or the purchase of some carbon offsets.
How can dental practices everywhere celebrate Earth Day with 11 products that protect the planet?
Pikster bamboo toothbrushes
Bamboo is the perfect material for toothbrush and interdental brush handles: strong, flexible and hygienic. It’s 100 percent biodegradable and compostable. Moso bamboo, which Bamboo Piksters are made from, is one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly crops available. Moso bamboo:
• Doesn’t require pesticides or fertilizer
• Requires less water than traditional agriculture
• Is naturally antibacterial and antifungal
• Produces up to 35 percent more oxygen than equivalent trees
• Absorbs more CO2 from the air than equivalent trees (up to 5 times more)
• Matures in as little as three years
• Does not require replanting or stump removal
• Stabilizes the soil with a complex, permanent root structure
Pandas don’t eat Moso bamboo, so no cuddlesome friends will go hungry when you pick Piksters Bamboo.
Shop here: Pikster bamboo
Benco Prints Full-Color Paper Supply Bags
Brown kraft shoppers, made in the U.S., are comprised of 100 percent recycled paper (with a minimum of 40 percent recycled post-consumer content) with matching twisted paper handles and serrated cut top. They include:
- Free Personalization
- Availability in three sizes
- Standard imprint colors
Shop here: Benco Prints
Designed to be reused, recycled or discarded with minimum impact on the environment, EcoSolution bags are the right solution for dental practices. Show patients and clients you care about the environment and the impact plastic bags have on it by using EcoSolution full-color, digital plastic bags. Whether the bag is introduced to the recycling stream or thrown in the garbage destined for composting in a landfill it will biodegrade naturally. EcoSolutions Bag:
- Features 2.0 mil plastic construction.
- Breaks down into inert humus(soil) and bio-gases
- Feels, looks and acts like a plastic bag – because it is!
- Won’t contaminate recycling streams
- Is fully customizable
Shop here: EcoSolutions Plastic Bags
These interdental brushes feature an ergonomically-formed handle that makes the brush easier to use, even in hard-to-reach areas, and for people with limited motor skills. Provides easy access between back teeth without bending the brush. Brushes feature:
- PLASTIC-COATED WIRE. Prevents injury to gums and damage to implant surfaces.
- TWO-LAYER FILAMENTS. The innovative, two-layer filaments ensure better plaque removal. Each proxy brush comes with a replaceable cap.
Benefits of Bio-Based Plastic:
1. Bio-based plastic is produced using a renewable raw material (sugar cane) instead of mineral oil, thus protecting Earth’s fossil resources. The handles of interdental brushes are made from at least 92 percent bio-based plastic.
2. The production of one kilogram of bio-based plastic saves three kilograms of CO2. This is the contribution to climate protection and reducing global warming.
3. Smart Grip handles are recyclable. Cut off the brush and wire, throw the handle in the recycling bin and the brush in the garbage bin.
Shop here: Oral Prevent
WooBamboo’s soft bristle bamboo toothbrushes are dentist-approved, and Mother Nature recommended. The brushes are made from a single piece of carved, FSC Certified 100 percent sustainably harvested bamboo, containing no toxins, glues, or paints. They are sanded and sealed by hand, using a vegan soybean wax to ensure smoothness and longevity. Brushes are completely BPA and phthalate free, handles are compostable/biodegradable and bristles and bag packaging are recyclable.
Toothbrushes are Moso bamboo, the world’s fastest growing varieties of bamboo. Naturally antimicrobial, Moso Bamboo is stronger than most hardwoods (like oak). It also is not a part of the endangered Giant Panda’s diet; you can find them happily munching on Black, Water, and Arrow bamboos.
Shop here: WooBamboo
Bamboo Bio Cups by Orsing for Directa Dental Group are made of eco-friendly, non-toxic bamboo fibers. By replacing conventional plastic with bamboo, Orsing reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and helps to save our planet for future generations.
Hygovac® Bio aspirator tube by Orsing for Directa Dental Group Orsing looks to the future by shifting products once made from plastic to renewable raw materials like sugarcane and bamboo to help reduce the carbon footprint and curb global warming. Green PE used in the Hygovac Bio aspirator tube is a fossil-free, bio-based polyethylene made from sugar canes. Unlike conventional PE, where fossil raw materials such as oil and natural gas are used, sugar cane is a completely renewable resource. Hygovac Bio comes in 2 lengths: 120 mm and 95 mm. Both lengths are with dual tips: 45° and S-shaped. The Hygovac Bio still has the same diameter and provides the same suction as previous Hygovac products.
Hygoformic® Bio saliva ejector with tongue holder by Orsing for Directa Dental Group. Hygoformic is the original, mouldable saliva ejector with tongue holder. By using Green PE, bio-based polyethylene, Orsing reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Green PE is a fossil-free, bio-based polyethylene made from sugar canes. Unlike conventional PE where fossil raw materials such as oil and natural gas are used, sugar cane is a completely renewable resource.
Learn more about these options and order today at 1.800.GOBENCO or shop here: Orsing Bio Green Products
Sani-Treet Green is a biodegradable, non-foaming, concentrated enzymatic evacuation cleaner. This specially formulated solution contains ecologically-friendly surfactants and enzymes that naturally digest and clean away build-up of proteins while maintaining optimum suction in evacuation equipment. This multi-tasking solution can also be used as an instrument pre-soak and ultrasonic cleaner.
Shop here: Sani-treet Green
Seventh Generation Professional products kills 99.99 percent of germs botanically. Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes clean and disinfect in one easy step. Their formula does not require a rinse, even on food contact surfaces and kills over 99.99 percent of household germs, specifically Influenza A virus, H1N1, Rhinovirus type 37 (the common cold virus), Methicilin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa on hard, non-porous surfaces.
Powerful pH neutral, plant-based floor cleaner removes soil with no film or streaks. 0% VOCs, chlorine bleach and fragrances. Cleans, degreases and deodorizes. Eliminates odors, notably pet, urine, and spilled food. Septic safe and safe for greywater. One ounce of concentrate makes one gallon of cleaner.
Seventh Generation® Natural Automatic Dishwasher Gel Free and Clear‘s nontoxic formula uses plant-based enzymes for greater cleaning power. Chlorine bleach-free, phosphate-free with no harsh fumes, dyes or synthetic fragrances.
Shop here: Seventh Generation
Premier invites dental practices to choose one action that can help improve the carbon footprint of their office — like carpooling, using less water, and switching to LED lights.
When it comes to cleaning products, Premier proudly offers a non-corrosive, pH neutral, environmentally-friendly, EPA-compliant option called Vac Attak GREEN, which has no chlorine or oxidizing agents.
Compatible with amalgam separators, Vac Attak GREEN arrives in a non-foaming format with a fresh citrus scent and provides up to 80 cleanings per 800g jar.
Shop here: VacAttak Green
Say hello to Wonderfill, the revolutionary tongue and void filler that will take away your daily grind. Wonderfill requires no setup time and has no messy cleanup. After a lower impression is made, the tongue area is filled with Wonderfill, the plaster or stone is poured and sets, and then Wonderfill is removed for a perfectly clean model. It’s water-soluble and offers easy cleanup. No need to mix alginate filler. Eliminates grinding out stone from lower impressions. Holds up under heat when making heat-shrink retainers. Fills in bubbles, air pockets, missing teeth and undercuts. Enhances the fit of appliances and bleaching trays. Excellent in creating a temporary dam when making partial molds.
Shop here: Wonderfill.
Preserve® Kids Toothbrush in Cellophane Bag, shown is ergonomic with a peapod shaped handle and soft bristles specially designed for little ones (ages 2-8). A portion of the sale of each Preserve® Kids Toothbrush goes to the National Wildlife Federation, and each toothbrush is designed to connect children with an endangered species. Kids will love the bright colors and the pea pod grips, as well as the fun facts about endangered animals on the packaging. Colors: blue, pink, green. Its handle is created with 100 percent recycled #5 plastic and bristles are new nylon and soft for gentle cleaning.
Shop here: Preserve Products
Feeling inspired by green initiatives at Benco Dental and at dental practices across the country? Consider introducing more environmentally-friendly alternatives at your dental practice today.