904-403-6446 (USA) or tsack@bgclinic.com

Building your Green Team

Managing Your Green Team

Decide to meet monthly to improve their office’s energy and environmental activities by using My Green Doctor. Building and managing a Green Team may take a bit of effort but is needed for your office to be successful at earning My Green Doctor Recognition and at improving your community. Your Team members will enjoy working together to learn and to achieve something important.

The Green Team’s focus is always to find cost-effective ways to improve energy and resources use. Remember to use the Education Steps to share your ideas with your patients and with their families.

To begin, the Green Team will need:

• Approval from your office leadership, be that the chief executive, owners, partners, manager, or Board of Directors.

• A Team leader or leaders who agree to take about 30 minutes each month to organize the Green Team.

• A group of perhaps 3-10 people willing to join. Anyone who cares about the office can join— clerical workers, nurses, technicians, doctors, computer specialists, managers, other providers, cleaning personnel, other employees, and even patients. It is always helpful and more fun if your Team includes a variety of perspectives.

We recommend that your office Green Team decide to meet over lunch every month. Agree to a regular time each week, such as the first Wednesday from Noon to 1pm. You can qualify for your My Green Doctor recognition certificate in just 6 months. For each meeting, someone on the Team can print out the “Green team Notes” form which makes it easy to record notes of your meetings and to submit those to My Green Doctor for achieving your Recognition certificate. Your Green Team is a group of people who work in the doctor’s office and Here is a meeting schedule to guide you:

Meeting 1: “Quick Start, Now!”

At your first meeting, talk about the purpose of My Green Doctor and of a Green Team, which is for people in the office to spend some time together finding ways to have a healthier, “greener” office, and to share these ideas with their co-workers, patients and families. The Green Team should agree on who will be the initial leader and when to meet. Read together the “How It Works” tab and the “Quick Start, Now!” tab. Also, look briefly at least the titles of the seven workbooks so that your Team will have a general understanding of what is available at My Green Doctor. At Meeting 1, pick your first Action Step from “Quick Start, Now!” Examples to consider: start recycling, agree to turn off lights & appliances, print stickers to put on switches “Please Turn Me Off”. Complete a Green Team Notes form that makes it easy to record your decisions.

Meeting 2: “Workbook 1, Energy Efficiency”

Review together the Notes of Meeting 1. Then begin Workbook 1, Energy Efficiency. This workbook easily involves every Green Team member and starts saving money right away. Read together the Action Steps in Workbook 1 and decide which ones to try. Ideas to read about: Look at your recent electric bills & set a goal for improvement, such as a 20% lowering of your bill; reset your thermostats for the season, agree to turn off lights and machines at night, look into installing automatic room dimmers. For each choice, select one Team member to lead that Action Step. Complete a Green Team Notes form for the meeting.

Meeting 3: Continue with Workbook 1, “Energy Efficiency”

Use your Notes forms from your first two meetings to review your progress so far. Continue reading “Energy Efficiency” together and pick 1-3 additional Energy Efficiency Action Steps. At this meeting, decide ways to share information with your office and patients by using Educational Steps. For example, your Team may plan a regular office announcement or email for others in the office; and print a few educational brochures from the Resources tab to put in the waiting room for your patients, and for the lunch room for your colleagues and their families. If you have a few minutes, look at the many remarkable Action Steps in Workbook 2: Renewable Energy. For each choice, select one Team member to lead that Action Step. Complete a Green Team Notes form for the meeting.

Meeting 4: Begin Workbook 3, “Water Efficiency”

Review your Notes forms to discuss your progress and setbacks so far. This is a good time to revise your activities for the Action steps that your Team is working on, and to consider whether your Education Steps have been effective at sharing your ideas with others the office including with your patients. Read together Workbook 3, “Water Efficiency”. Choose 1-3 Action Steps or Education Steps from this workbook. For each choice, select one Team member to lead that Action Step. Complete a Green Team Notes form for the meeting. Remind everyone of the next meeting date.

Meeting 5: Workbook 4, “Solid Waster & Recycling”

Use your Notes forms to review your progress so far. Read together “Solid Waster & Recycling”. We offer 32 different Action and Education Steps to consider for your office. Some of these you may already be doing and many will be new. At Meeting 5, take credit on your Notes form for Steps that you have already achieved. For example, your office may already have an electronic medical record, so that represents one Action Step accomplished. Agree to adopt 1-3 new Action or Education Steps from this workbook. The keys to wise solid waste management is to identify materials that you can AVOID purchasing, that you can REUSE, and that you can RECYCLE. By now, your office may already be recycling. If not, now is the time to start. If you are already recycling in the office, Meeting 5 is the time to consider how effective this has been and what else can you do. Are you recycling all materials or just some? Do you know how much material this represents: the number of bins or boxes or kilos per month? Are you refilling and reusing your printer cartridges? Water bottles? For each choice, select one Team member to lead that Action Step. Complete a Green Team Notes form for the meeting.

Meeting 6: Review & Applying for your My Green Doctor Certificate

Use Meeting 6 to discuss what you have accomplished and where you have had disappointments. Likely you have achieved the criteria for applying for your My Green Doctor recognition certificate: five meetings, five Action Steps and five Education Steps. Use your Notes forms to review your progress. Decide as a Team how you can better implement the Action and Education Steps that you have adopted, including perhaps picking a different leader for certain Steps, or closing Steps what you have fully completed, or dropping ones that you have found
unsuitable for your office. It is easy to apply to us for Recognition status. Simply email your meeting Notes forms to My Green Doctor (to Dr Todd Sack, Editor, My Green Doctor: tsack@bgclinic.com). Please tell us any additional information that you would like to include in your application. Be as quantitative as possible with your report. Please send along any other ideas or educational materials that you may have created so that My Green Doctor can share these with other offices worldwide. We are eager to tell others about your successes or lessons learned. For more details about applying for your certificate, go to “Green Doctor Office Recognition” under the “About Us” tab.

Meeting 7: Begin Workbook 5, “Drug Disposal & Chemicals”

Use your Notes forms to review your progress so far. Read together Workbook 5, Drug Disposal & Chemicals. This topic can be difficult because there so many chemicals in our offices but we do not normally think of them as possible problems. The most important topic to share with your colleagues and staff is drug disposal (never pour medications into the sink or into the toilet). The next most important items are the soaps and pesticides you use. You will want to be sure that these are wise chemical choices and that chemicals are being used safely to be sure that none are harmful to you or to the environment. Please choose 1-3 Action Steps or Education Steps from this workbook. For each choice, select one Team member to lead that Action Step. Complete a Green Team Notes form for the meeting. Remind everyone of the next meeting date.

Meeting 8: Workbook 6, “Transportation & Commuting”

Use your Notes form from Meeting 7to review your progress so far. Read together Workbook 6, Transportation & Commuting. Many of the Action Steps for this workbook can take months or even years to complete. Pick 1-3 Steps to work on that will remain on your meeting agendas for many months, topics to gradually achieve. Be sure to select one Team member to lead each Step and this person will remind you at each Green Team meeting of the status of that item. Easy Steps to begin with might be to print the Bicycle Safety brochure for your patient waiting room (go to the Resources dropdown tab); or to ask your office or building to install a bicycle rack; or to take a survey of your office to learn the fuel efficiency of the cars owned by your office members and the number of miles driven per year. You can use the calculator from Workbook 2, Renewable Energy, to calculate the carbon dioxide pollution resulting from your office’s transportation choices. And do include those who commute by public transportation. Share the results with your office staff and patients. Set a goal to lower your transportation office carbon dioxide pollution by 10% in two years.

Meeting 9: Workbook 7, “Healthy Foods”

Review your Green Team Notes from your last meeting. Read together Workbook 7, “Healthy Foods. Simultaneous epidemics of worldwide obesity and food shortages may make this My Green Doctor’s most important chapter. Pick 1-3 Action Steps and Education Steps to adopt. Pay attention to the foods that are eaten in your office. Here are some basic questions to ask, and many more asked in Workbook 7: are foods brought to your office produced from sustainable farms and fisheries, are the packages made of re-usable or recyclable materials, and are the foods prepared with healthy cooking methods? Consider adopting the food vendor policy that we have included in the workbook, a list of guidelines for the foods that are brought to your office by salespeople. Consider a meat-free day each week.

Meeting 10: Workbook 2, “Renewable Energy”

Review your Green Team Notes from for Meeting 9. Purchasing renewable energy and installing renewable energy devices is not for everyone, but perhaps is suitable for your office. Read together the ideas provided in the workbook. Consider installing the most cost-effective form of renewable energy for your home or office: a solar hot water heater. Consider creating an educational brochure for the waiting room on the topic of a solar hot water heater or on the topic of renewable energy options in your community, including a list of local contractors who install renewable energy devices (solar-thermal hot water, solar swimming pool heaters, wind power & photovoltaic electric power).

Congratulations—after ten Green Team meetings, you have completed the seven workbooks of My Green Doctor! Please continue to meet monthly as a Green Team, finding more ways to improve your environmental choices and to share these ideas with your co-workers, families and patients. Urge other offices in your building or town to start their own Green Teams. And be sure to print your Green Doctor Office recognition certificate, to frame it, and to display it proudly in your waiting room and lunch room. You are truly a Green Doctor Office!