How can we action sustainable practice?

One of our core VetPrac values is “People First”.

VetPrac participants learn by doing and we bridge the gap between learning the theory and performing the clinical skills in a supervised practical setting. Perhaps the most important aspect of “People First” is that our workshops are not just about two facts: theory and practice. What sets us apart is that we provide people with a whole experience during our VetPrac workshops. This is centred on our community and it’s about gathering together and celebrating lifelong learning through education, food, connection, conversation and contribution.

Many ideas, words, items, videos, and articles have come to me in the last few months. Like so many other people on our planet we have had to change our mindset, be more creative, and strategise, not just about the future, but our here and right now. The VetPrac team has had to rethink our world and our work, and we’ve done this largely using online media.

With the plethora of information at our disposal a lot of it resonates; I’d like to share a few pieces from three amazing individuals, that really struck a chord for me. Stephen Bent, my amazing, socially aware and environmentally conscious husband, showed me an article from the website The Conversation. Wayne Boardman, a wonderful colleague and outstanding veterinarian, posted this Video on Facebook. The third piece of information came from my 14 year old son, James Bent, while we were building our vegetable garden yesterday. He has also been following Greta Thunberg and is deeply affected by the disturbing reality of our planet’s demise. James said, “Mum we have 10 years to halve emissions worldwide” and then he quoted Greta, “and that will give us a 50% chance of avoiding an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilisation as we know it.” He is also thinking hard about what he can do.

 

 

So, what can I do? What can VetPrac do?

My plan is to act now, and with each step we will decrease our environmental impact. VetPrac’s core value of “People First” now has a dual purpose and meaning. We will continue to bridge the gap between learning and doing, and at the same time we will be reducing our emissions in our effort to help save our planet.

 

Some of the immediate changes for VetPrac are:

* Ask all participants to bring their own reusable water bottles and coffee cups, or pre-register to buy a reusable coffee cup at the workshop

* Continue to have water jugs with glassware (or to refill personal water bottles)

* Phase out the use of plastic conference envelopes and substitute them with either recycled paper envelopes or the equivalent with sustainably sourced natural fibre.

* Continue to recycle plastic name tags and as they decrease in number introduce cardboard name badges

* Print on sustainably sourced paper

* All printing going forward will be using a printer powered by solar energy

 

This is our beginning, and we will grow with this. What’s yours?