Going Green in Dentistry
The dental industry is working on multiple fronts to improve its environmental sustainability, just like other industries trying to reduce their carbon footprint. As a key supplier to dentists and dental professionals worldwide, it’s important for Richmond Dental and Medical to do our part with regard to protecting the environment, too.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that we’re going green in dentistry.
It Starts with Cotton
Our sustainability is centered around one very special, all-natural, biodegradable crop: cotton. Unlike synthetic or chemically-produced fibers such as polyester and rayon, cotton fiber is grown naturally from the earth. It is biodegradable (achieving 95-100 percent disintegration within four to 12 weeks, depending on conditions), compostable, and renewable. Cotton boasts an eight- to nine-month renewable life cycle, while rayon can take as many as 20 years to grow.
Thanks to the hard work of agricultural scientists and farmers over the past several decades, cotton has become an even more sustainable crop through improved farming practices. Energy and water usage, farming emissions, and soil loss have all decreased dramatically in recent years, with greenhouse gas emissions being cut by 40 percent.
Cotton is a homegrown plant that requires little land and water relative to other crops. In fact, most U.S. cotton is grown using rainfall only, and half of cotton worldwide survives on rainfall. Every cotton harvest yields several important materials, going beyond just the fiber: cottonseed is used to feed cattle and manufacture edible oils, while other byproducts are recycled as compost.
What this means for Richmond Dental is that we’re able to offer dental products that are both hygienic and eco-friendly. While it’s always best to reuse as much as possible, some products are single-use by necessity, particularly in the medical and dental fields. This single-use protocol ensures the safety and hygiene of patients and their providers. But “single-use” doesn’t have to mean “bad for the environment,” as proven by purified cotton, which decomposes in a matter of weeks or months. Compare this to leather, which takes up to 40 years to decompose in a landfill!
A Homegrown Supply Chain
While our environmental efforts start with cotton, they don’t end there. We’re proud to sell products made from cotton that are grown, harvested, converted, and purified right here in the USA. When you buy dental supplies from Richmond Dental, you know that the cotton didn’t have to travel far to get to you, since we are vertically integrated with our cotton supplier and purification platform. This further reduces the amount of energy and greenhouse gas emissions required in our manufacturing process.
Setting Goals for the Future
In addition to Richmond Dental and Medical’s commitment to supplying sustainable cotton products, we are also doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint even further. Year after year, we set stringent company goals on energy and water usage, working hard to reduce consumption. We aim to be a force for positive change in the environment, not only through our supply chain, but also through having eco-friendly business practices overall.
With the dental industry moving toward a more environmentally-minded future, Richmond Dental remains at the forefront by supplying dental offices around the world with high-quality, homegrown products. Contact your distributor to purchase or visit richmonddental.net to see our products.