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Going Green When You Feel Green: Steps in an Eco-Friendly Doctor’s Visit

I know, I know—when we’re sick, the last thing on our mind is, well, anything but our sickness. We’re sick and miserable and only want to feel well again. Being sick typically gives us a hall pass of sorts for being really selfish—requesting soup, staying in bed all day, constantly complaining. Though it’s not something we often think about, there are many ways that we can make our everyday things—like visiting the doctor—a more environmentally friendly event. There are tons of small and seemingly insignificant things we can do to help lessen our carbon footprint on this earth. Just thinking outside of the box a little and trying when you can to make a difference can be a wonderful testament to green living. Next time you’re feeling green try these easy steps to having a greener (in a good way!) doctor’s visit.

Make a Green Commute
This concept can be applied to any daily task we have that requires some sort of a commute. Even just by using our cars on one less trip, we can reduce environmentally harmful gas consumption and car emissions. If you have a doctor’s appointment, consider using public transportation to get there. If you’re sick and staying home from work, you don’t have to worry as much about getting in and out of the appointment quickly. Take the bus or metro rail if they are available to use. This can be beneficial for both the environment and your health. Use your trip on the bus or train to sit back and relax—you don’t have to pay attention to the road. It’s also important to consider the number of trips you make. If you aren’t sick enough to have to go to the doctor, it might be a good idea to wait off and see if your immune system will do its job (of course, this entirely depends on the individual). Also consider other doctor’s related stops you might need to make after your appointment. If you need to go to a separate pharmacy after your visit, try to do that on your way home from the doctor to avoid multiple trips.

Go Paperless
Another great way to reduce waste during your next doctor’s business is trying to go paperless with billing. Today, many doctor’s offices offer receipts and appointment overviews that you can access through an online database or via email. At doctor’s visits you can accumulate a lot of unnecessary paper. See if there is a way you can get electronic instructions, bills, receipts, etc. from your doctor instead. Furthermore, by doing the billing process electronically you can more easily keep track of things for insurance and financial purposes. With everything accessible online, you can be sure never to lose billing documents or other important medically related things.

Think Reusable
As every “greeny” knows, even the small steps count. Doing every little thing we can to reduce our waste and help out our environment is worthwhile. For your next doctor’s appointment consider taking your own reusable water bottle. Drinking water consistently when you are ill is very important. Rather than using the plastic or styrofoam cups that they usually offer in the doctor’s office, take your own water bottle to use. This can also help you stay away from unwanted germs that might be lingering on cups sitting in the doctor’s waiting room. Also, while magazines in a doctor’s office are a staple, rather than waste the paper of an entire magazine try taking your own entertainment. Use an electronic reader (Kindle, iPad, etc.) or play games on your phone to reduce paper waste.

About the author:
Amelia Wood contributed this guest post. She pursues freelance writing projects in the medical billing and coding niche. She especially loves hearing back from her readers. Questions or comments can be sent to wood. amelia1612 @

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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