Pulse - March 2021 - 17
It's generally less costly than people
think to go green, Dr. Davidow believes.
" There are some environmental things
that are more costly at the outset but they
will absolutely save you money in the long
term. Anything related to energy, water
usage and insulation are in that category.
" The biggest places where you can
improve on your energy usage is in how
you design your air-handling system, how
you situate your building in terms of light
and passive warmth and how you insulate.
All that makes a really big difference. If I
were building from scratch today, I'd be
looking at all of those issues. And I would
be adding as many sustainable components
to my building as I could. "
Drs. Shinkawa, Davidow and Calfee
all said that they had looked into seeking
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for their
practices. That certification is the most
widely used green building rating system
in the world. All three found that meeting the requirements would have been too
costly for them. And all three decided to
implement as many LEED requirements
as they could, given their budgets and time
Here is a closer look what was done in
each of these projects.
Dr. Shinkawa at
Ohana Pet Hospital
" We moved into
what had been an
auto center and our
building was one of
four that had rollup doors. We pulled
the roll-up doors to
the ceiling and put
in store-front windows. That gave us a lot of natural lighting.
It was almost like having skylights. Natural lighting is always a big deal for a veterinary staff. It makes everything feel open
and energetic. "
Going green " was fairly new then.
LEED-certified architects were expensive
and this was a start-up practice with a certain budget, " she said. Dr. Shinkawa hired a
contractor, who was environmentally aware
and " he did what he could for us. "
Dr. Shinkawa hired a contractor, who was
environmentally aware and " he did what
he could for us. "
Construction techniques included use
of zero-emission paints, wide use of LED
lighting, recycled-glass countertops, a
Green Guard air-quality-certified HVAC
system, recycled cabinet laminates and lowflow toilets.
The practice uses paperless record keeping, purchases only recycled-content office
supplies and biodegradable pens. It also uses
refillable cleaning products, thus eliminated
those large plastic containers for dishwashers
and washing machines that are so common
- and that often can wind up in landfills.
When the practice opened, Dr. Shinkawa
hired an administrative assistant who was
passionate about conserving the environment and got the hospital off to a good start.
" She's been gone for three years now.
She was good about training my staff and
training other hospitals locally about how
to recycle waste and how to develop an
environmental program internally. We have
a new training manager now who is working to get us back on course again. It takes
a lot of effort and training to do this right. "
Dr. Shinkawa said that medical supply
waste was one of the bigger issues for the
new hospital. " We took our staff on a tour
of the local Gold Coast Recycling facility.
They showed us how their sorting facility worked. They also told us which of our
medical supplies and waste are recyclable
and which are not. We did a picture diagram for the staff to help them figure out
what you can throw in the recycle bin and
what should go into the trash bin. "
Many local veterinary hospitals have
embraced the practices adopted by Ohana
Hospital, " particularly on recycling waste
from the hospital floor, which is the majority of the effort that I think should be
done, " Dr. Shinkawa said.
She said that the hospital has a blue recycle bin positioned just to the right of every
trash bin. " That helps our staff get into the
habit of recycling and makes it easier. We
want them not to have to think about it. "
How much waste gets recycled depends
on the agreement your local trash company
has to sell the recycled products, she said.
Styrofoam icepacks and packaging has
always been a problem for the practice,
Dr. Shinkawa said. " A lot of our shipments
come in Styrofoam and icepacks. What we
would do is call around to the high schools
or to anyone who might be able to reuse
the icepacks. Those who wanted them
would come and pick them up. "
Styrofoam has not been recyclable,
although she has been told that there now
is a plant that will recycle the packaging
material, Dr. Shinkawa said.
Her practice does not have to buy large
plastic containers of laundry soap, hand soap
and dishwasher soap, she said. The local
Refill Shoppe sells these products to the
hospital in large buckets. The buckets are
refilled by the shop when they are empty.
She said that her practice used to get a
lot of surgical drapes from a local hospital that no longer could use them. " None
of it had touched human patients. It literally came off of the instrument pack
and went into a landfill bin. It saved us a
lot of money since we didn't have to buy
our own drapes. We could use them several
times before throwing them out.
" They were perfectly usable for us and
we could sterilize them. I used to bring
some of them to the local VMA meetings so I could share them with colleagues
[before the covid crisis]. She lost her contact at that hospital but she plans to reach
out to area hospitals to see if she can make
a similar arrangement.
The practice has a small composter in
the back of the clinic. Staff members take
most of the cardboard boxes that come into
the practice for personal use or to give to
friends, Dr. Shinkawa said.
If she were to build another clinic in the
future, she said, " we would love to do solar
paneling and probably some gray-water
catching since we seem to be doing laundry all day. "
She suggested that practice owners
wanting to go green talk to their local trash
company about recycling. " They can tell
you what medical supplies can be recycled.
And you will need to develop a program to
educate your staff about recycling. "
The hospital has received numerous
awards from local and state agencies for
its ecofriendly efforts and its continued
Pulse - March 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - March 2021
Pulse - March 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Veterinarians Key to Planet’s Future, UC Davis Global Health Expert Believes
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - March 2021 - Pulse - March 2021
Pulse - March 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - March 2021 - 1
Pulse - March 2021 - 2
Pulse - March 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - March 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - March 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - March 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - March 2021 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - March 2021 - 8
Pulse - March 2021 - 9
Pulse - March 2021 - 10
Pulse - March 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - March 2021 - Veterinarians Key to Planet’s Future, UC Davis Global Health Expert Believes
Pulse - March 2021 - 13
Pulse - March 2021 - 14
Pulse - March 2021 - 15
Pulse - March 2021 - 16
Pulse - March 2021 - 17
Pulse - March 2021 - 18
Pulse - March 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - March 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - March 2021 - Tools for Success
Pulse - March 2021 - Angel Fund
Pulse - March 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - March 2021 - 24
Pulse - March 2021 - The RVT
Pulse - March 2021 - Industry Insights
Pulse - March 2021 - Quick Reference
Pulse - March 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - March 2021 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Pulse - March 2021 - Resources
Pulse - March 2021 - 31
Pulse - March 2021 - 32
Pulse - March 2021 - Disease Table
Pulse - March 2021 - 34
Pulse - March 2021 - 35
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Pulse - March 2021 - Classifieds
Pulse - March 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - March 2021 - Cover3
Pulse - March 2021 - Cover4