COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – an update for our clients.

Garston’s Green Team have had a busy year working to improve our surgeries sustainability.

January 7, 2022

Despite 2021 starting off with a lengthy period of lockdown, Garston’s Green Team have had a busy year working to improve the practice’s sustainability.

Inspired by a scheme run by the British Bee Veterinary Association, Garston’s Green Team kicked off the year’s activities with a gardening day in May, with the aim of making our practice gardens more ‘bee-friendly’. Keeping pollinators in mind, we planted a selection of edible herbs for our small furry inpatients as well as some lovely colourful flowers to brighten up our outdoor lunch spots. Some of our wonderful staff children also got involved and made some excellent ‘bug hotels’ to provide shelter for all sorts of fantastic creepy crawlies. More recently, as Winter approaches, the Green Team have been busy sowing seeds around the borders and we hope to see some mini wild flower meadows pop up next year.

Whilst we tend to save getting our hands and knees muddy for the weekends (except for the farm team of course!), the green team have also been boosting their planting efforts from the comfort of the consult room by switching the practice computer search engines to ‘Ecosia’. Ecosia uses ad revenue from internet searches to plant trees where they are needed the most. By searching with Ecosia, the practice is helping to reforest the planet and empowering the communities around Ecosia’s planting projects to build a better future for themselves. Anybody can download and use Ecosia, it’s free of charge and you can even use it as your internet app on your mobile phone – why not give it a try by clicking the link here.

As part of our efforts to be a more environmentally-friendly medical enterprise, the Green Team has spent a considerable amount of time reviewing our clinical protocols with sustainability in mind. Several team members have attended webinars and lectures this year, with the aim of learning how we can work more sustainably without compromising our excellent clinical standards. With expert guidance, our nursing team have successfully fine-tuned our anaesthesia and analgesia (pain relief) protocols to make them less wasteful, without compromising on efficacy. Our use of Nitrous Oxide, an inhalational pain killer and potent greenhouse gas, has reduced to zero over the past year, as we have moved to using a wider range of injectable pain killers during anaesthetics instead.

Outside of our clinical work, the team continue to encourage the recycling of an ever-increasing number of materials, including pens, crisp packets and pet food packaging. We have been striving to support our local food producers and farm clients in order to keep our food mileage as low as possible and to promote consumption of high welfare animal products. All of our branches now offer staff a choice of locally produced dairy milk or oat milk to be enjoyed in their tea or coffee.

Looking ahead to next year, the Green Team have many exciting projects in the pipeline. With the support of the partners, the Green Team are hoping to be able to offer staff the government’s cycle-to-work scheme in 2022. This has the potential to reduce the carbon emissions of our collective commute considerably, as well as keeping us fit and active! We look forward to updating you with our progress again in due course and would like to thank our wonderful clients for all of their support in making Garston more green!

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