The 3 R’s

Unique Optique agrees with Jack Johnson when he sings ‘reduce, reuse, recycle‘.

1. Reduce:

We reduce paper waste by using electronic health records, eliminating paper charts completely.  At the start of the exam, patients sign a laminated signature sheet with a dry erase marker.  Our eyeglass and contact lens orders are all done electronically, as are our insurance submissions and payments.  All of our bills are paid online, reducing the need for paper checks, envelopes and stamps. Our paychecks are directly deposited.  We have also reduced our print advertizing and now do mostly online media.  We clean all instruments with alcohol to avoid the use of chin rest papers.  When paper is used in the office, we print on both sides and cut up unused parts of the paper for notes.

We reduce our energy usage by turning off lights when leaving the room, using the sleep mode on our computers after 10 minutes and powering down all instruments at night.  Office electronics and appliances are energy star approved.  Lighting is by environmentally friendly halogen or fluorescent bulbs.

We are lobbying for a bike rack to be placed in front of our office to encourage green travel.  There is a bus stop on the corner allowing patients to use more eco friendly mass transit.

We installed automatic shut off faucets in the bathroom and we use environmentally friendly cleaning products.

2. Reuse:

Unique Optique was literally built on a reusing philosophy. All of the furniture in the space was re-purposed from another form. Our counters were salvaged from an old shop and our dispensing tables were desks in a former life. Old dining room sets were reconditioned and used as waiting room chairs and desks. The doors for the exam rooms were salvaged from a construction remodel. Our kitchen cabinets came from Second Chance in Baltimore and the granite counter top came from a model home that was disassembled. Even our pen holders were old sugar molds and our magazine holders were wrought iron outdoor planters.

Our system for marking materials to be picked up involve dry erase reusable labels. We reuse broken frames that cannot be donated for parts to repair patient’s old glasses. We clean our personal drinking mugs and our contact lens cases with reusable, recyclable cloths. Cleaning cloths used for glasses are washed organically and reused.  We re-purpose boxes and packaging material that arrives at our office to protect the packages leaving our office.  Magazines older than 4 months are left outside for others to read and keep. Cleaning spray bottles are refilled and reused.

3. Recycle:

Frederick city has an amazing program that includes most plastic and paper items.  Our workstations have both a garbage and recycling waste basket.  We recycle our ink cartridges.

We use recycled paper products when possible, like printer paper, patient to-go coffee cups, napkins and toilet paper.  We only use environmentally friendly printing companies for our business cards and letterhead.

Living plants in our office recycle our carbon dioxide output.  We offer 5% off the purchase of new glasses to those who donate their old ones.  The old frames are then sent to organization that matches them with people in need.

Every little bit helps and let’s all do our part. If you have other suggestions for us, please do not hesitate to let us know.

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