The health and safety of our patients and teammates is our top priority. We are keeping a close eye on this situation and reinforcing the extensive infection control practices already in place to protect them. Click here to find videos and additional resources.
Embrace Earth Day: Go Green!
“Go Green” is a catch phrase used to encourage people to conserve our planet’s resources. You can go green by embracing Earth Day on, April 22, 2020 – the 50th anniversary of this recognition day. I’ve been going green since I could walk. Caring for our environment is something I am very passionate about and excited to share with others. The first environmentalist I knew was my mother, Dorothy. She would send us to the roadside in the rural area where we lived to pick up trash that was thrown out by passersby. We reused plastic bags and composted to fertilize my mother’s garden.
History of Earth Day
Earth Day originated in 1970 to help raise public awareness about environmental issues, such as air and water pollution. The founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson, a former Senator from Wisconsin, was inspired to bring environmental protection to the forefront of the National Political Agenda.
In 1990 Earth Day went international, reaching 141 countries. Headed by Denis Hayes, an environmental advocate, Earth Day 2000 energized the Environmental Movement leveraging the internet to bring focus to global warming and clean energy.
Renew Reuse Recycle
DaVita’s sustainability program and team is known as Village Green and its goal is to help make kidney care earth-friendly by reducing the environmental impact of operations and educating teammates and patients on how they can help. Highlights of DaVita’s 2020 goals set to achieve over the next 5 years are to:
- Reduce water waste 30% per treatment
- Reduce waste by increasing recycling in 45% of locations
- Reduce energy use and carbon emissions 10% per treatment
When I first started working for DaVita, the dialysis center used plastic jugs for the dialysate solution. We could collect 30 or more of these jugs each day. I would take those plastic jugs to a recycling center. Now many of the centers have switched to a central water system, which eliminates the need for plastic jugs.
What We Can Do
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, (1) a third of food produced is lost or wasted each year. Food waste can contribute to land-fills filling up and greenhouse gas emissions (2). Here is a list of things we can do to make a difference:
- Reduce food waste
- Buy local food
- Buy straight from the farm or farmer’s market
- Buy organic to support organic farming & reduce pesticide usage
- Reduce meat consumption to lower carbon emission from livestock farming
- Compost kitchen scraps for use in your garden
- Reuse water bottles, coffee mugs and plastic bags
- Pack your own lunch in a reusable bag
- Bring reusable bags when you shop
Animal agriculture contributes to 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Journal of Science(3), livestock provide just 18% of calories worldwide and take up 83% of the farmland (2). For this reason some people have decided to adopt a plant-based, meatless diet.
Here are some food of my favorite blogs that offer meatless recipe ideas. Check with your dietitian to see if the recipes you want to try are acceptable for your kidney diet.
Additional Kidney Diet Resources
- Visit DaVita.com and explore these diet and nutrition resources:
- DaVita Diet Helper online meal planner and tracker
- DaVita Kidney-Friendly recipes
- Today’s Kidney Diet cookbooks
- Diet and Nutrition articles
- Kidney Smart® Classes taught by kidney experts in your area
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.