As the crusade for a greener future gains momentum in today’s generation, many industries and corporations across the country are rapidly adopting sustainable practices. Healthcare, however, is usually forgotten when thinking about an environmentally friendly future. According to sustainabilityroadmap.com, hospitals produce “nearly 7,000 tons of waste every day and $10 billion annually in disposal costs across the health care industry”. This unnecessarily gigantic number means that the healthcare industry is responsible for some of the largest waste production in the United States!
While cutting down on produced waste is obviously more beneficial to the environment, officials who push for greener action also stress that the money saved from adopting these practices can be remarkably high. The website also claims that this investment can range from “$4–7 billion in savings for the industry as a whole”. Supporters for this green movement profess that this saved money can funnel back into the healthcare industry, providing for improved medical conditions, patient care, professional training, and efficient medical research. Although some people argue that adopting these practices can be an unattainable hassle, affirming environmentally friendly operating methods can be as easy as changing the brand of sheets used in the hospital, or being conscious about water and energy consumption.
If hospitals are willing to go above and beyond these modest shifts in practices, corporations and companies are now voluntarily offering sustainability programs. These programs look at every aspect of the individual hospital, and assess what needs to be changed in order to sustain the largest economic and environmental benefit. Changes like these, no matter how large or small, can lead to both a healthier environment and an improved healthcare system.