Sustaining health and environment

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  Posted by: Dental Design      12th February 2022

In recent years, there has been a huge surge in the push for conservation in all aspects of the environment. This is due to rising concerns for the health of the environment. The Climate Change Transparency Report 2021 revealed that CO2 emissions have risen in various countries whom are part of the G20. As an example, Turkey’s emissions rose by 7.2% and the USA saw a 5.2% increase from 2019-2021.[i] As well as this, the loss of forests has remained high with 2016-2018 seeing the highest rates of forest loss since the turn of the century.[ii]

Forests play a key role in our ecosystem

The trees and plants that make up forests absorb harmful emissions from the air and ultimately act as a “carbon sink” for gases that damage the environment when they remain in large capacities. In fact, forests are so good at this that they could provide more than 1/3 of CO2 reductions if they were properly maintained.[iii] As well as being able to absorb a significant amount of carbon, trees also act as nature’s air conditioner as they transpire water which forms clouds.

Tropical rainforests, such as the Amazon Basin and Congo Basin, are critical to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Due to the vastness of these rainforests, they are able to store huge amounts of carbon, especially as they do not have a dormant period which means they can work all year round. Tropical rainforests don’t just exist to store carbon; however, they are also responsible for biodiversity which is another integral part of keeping our ecosystem healthy – 90% of the world’s species reside in tropical forests.iii The conservation of these places is also important for indigenous cultures as they depend on a healthy ecosystem to provide them with essentials such as food, shelter, and water.

Sustainable solutions

Due to growing concern for the environment, society has begun to make changes in order to attempt to reverse, or stop, the continuing damage being made to the environment. Governments have had to step up – Indonesia reduced its forest loss by 37% from 2010-2018 and this is partly due to government policies. Although, there is still a long way to go because global primary forest loss remains high.ii Advances in technology have also made it easier to monitor forests – advanced GPS tracking systems, drones, and wireless sensor networks have enabled groups to make changes to how forests are managed more quickly.

There has also been a push from indigenous people in certain areas. In Ethiopia, for instance, conservation has been spiritually driven.[iv] The past century has seen a surge in agriculture as Ethiopia’s population has grown and continues to do so. This has meant a significant reduction in forest mass but the community of the Orthodox Tewahedo Church have managed to conserve the areas of forest that surround their church buildings. As such, these areas have become islands of biodiversity amongst fields of agriculture.

While governments have made some efforts and the fight of indigenous peoples has been impactful, one of the biggest changes has been the shift in consumer attitudes. People are making more environmentally conscious decisions when buying products with 77% of people wanting to live more sustainably[v] and this has led to many businesses making changes to the products they produce. Many solutions are now made from recycled plastic, some have switched to 100% recyclable materials, single use plastic is being tackled by people switching to reusable solutions, and sustainable materials such as bamboo and wood have seen a resurgence in production.

As more and more people are interested in living sustainably the products available to recommend to your patients is a great way to support sustainability needs through your practice. As sustaining good health is just as important as sustaining the environment, the TANDEX WOODI is a brilliant product for the interdental cleaning needs of your patients. The series is available in six different sizes to suit different interdental spaces and the brush is easy and comfortable to hold and use. As well as this, the product handle is made from FSC-certified sustainable birchwood. So not only will your patients be able to maintain an elevated oral hygiene routine but they will also be playing a part in sustainability.

In summary, the plight of our environment needs solutions that are going to work and are able to be implemented very quickly. Making small changes to the products people use is one great way to have a positive impact on the environment.

Kimberley Lloyd- Rees on behalf of Tandex

Kimberley graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2010, where she now works as a clinical tutor in Dental Hygiene and Therapy as well as working in practice. She has spent her career working across a variety of specialist private and mixed dental practices, for the MOD and volunteering her time to a dental charity in Nepal.

 

For more information on Tandex, visit https://tandex.dk/
or the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TandexUK

Tandex products are now available from CTS Dental Supplies
https://www.cts-dental.com/ and DHB Oral Healthcare https://dhb.co.uk/

 

[i] Climate Transparency Organisation. “Energy Related Co2 Emissions and GDP Variation (2019-2021).” Wp.com, 2021, i2.wp.com/www.climate-transparency.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/G20-energy-related-CO2-emissions-and-GDP-variation.png?ssl=1. Accessed 23 Nov. 2021.

[ii] Experts, WRI Forest. “10 Big Changes for Forests over the Last Decade.” Www.wri.org, 10 Jan. 2020, www.wri.org/insights/10-big-changes-forests-over-last-decade. Accessed 23 Nov. 2021.

[iii] Witness, Global. “How Banks, Deforestation and the Climate Crisis Are Linked.” Global Witness, 21 Mar. 2020, www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/forests/how-banks-deforestation-and-climate-crisis-are-linked/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIk-_ljpqu9AIVT2pvBB2B4AfIEAAYASAAEgKohvD_BwE. Accessed 23 Nov. 2021.

[iv] Dodds, Kieran. “Gardens of Eden: The Church Forests of Ethiopia – a Photo Essay.” The Guardian, 8 Nov. 2021, www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/08/gardens-of-eden-the-church-forests-of-ethiopia-aoe. Accessed 23 Nov. 2021.

[v] Ellsmoor, James. “77% of People Want to Learn How to Live More Sustainably.” Forbes, 23 July 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/07/23/77-of-people-want-to-learn-how-to-live-more-sustainably/?sh=1487699a2b01. Accessed 23 Nov. 2021.


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