April 23, 2010
To coincide with Earth Day, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry invited the Eco-Dentistry Association to give a special presentation, "The Case for Going Green," to raise awareness about green dentistry among students, faculty and staff. Guest presenters Ina Pokrass, co-founder of the Eco-Dentistry Association, and Susan Beck, director of the Eco-Dentistry Association, shared information about eco-friendly products and practices available to the aspiring-to-be-green dentist.
The presentation provided an overview of the state of eco-friendly dentistry, outlined trends about consumers looking for green options, and gave tips to students and faculty that can be implemented in dental practices to reduce waste and prevent pollution. Dental professionals looking to lessen their environmental impact have options including switching from film-based to digital X-rays, utilizing biodegradable disinfectants, using dry vacuums that save water and choosing washable over disposable headrests.
In addition to the many environmental benefits, Pokrass emphasized that eco-dentistry can also offers cost savings in the thousands of dollars. Through energy savings (thanks to high-efficiency appliances), lower spending on disposable materials and reduced paper use thanks to digital records, dentists can save thousands of dollars each year.
"There's a large and growing green dentistry movement happening right now that has become mainstream," said Pokrass. "Dental students and faculty should realize that they have so much influence and power to effect industry transformation around this issue."
The Eco-Dentistry Association presentation concluded a month-long, University-wide focus on sustainability, which highlighted ways to create a greener and more sustainable world. The dental school hosted events including Renewable Resources recycling training, a presentation on the San Francisco Zero Waste Initiative from the city's Green Business Program and trivia contests featuring eco-prizes. The school also placed new recycling bins throughout the building and is rolling out a composting program.
"We hope to continue the momentum around sustainability to make sure that more students, faculty and staff consider the many choices they have in their daily lives and how these choices affect the world around them" said Eve Cuny, the dental school representative on the University's Sustainability Committee.
Many other events were held throughout the University as part of the Sustainability Month, including a presentation about food in society by noted author Michael Pollan at the McGeorge School of Law, and a symposium of naturalists and scientists on the Stockton campus featuring experts on John Muir.
This week the Princeton Review recognized sustainability efforts by University of the Pacific by naming it one of the top 286 green colleges in the United States. The list includes universities with comprehensive policies that encourage energy conservation, recycling, sustainability and environmental literacy.
Category Type: Community Outreach, Dental Issues and Research
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