Caila M., Verdes Assistant Dispensary Manager
Sustainability at Verdes
Hi everyone, my name is Caila and I am the Dispensary Manager at Verdes in Albuquerque. In addition to providing our patients with high quality medicine, I also lead our internal sustainability program. Our indoor grow facility is up and running 24/7. This means our plants are consuming water and other resources at a fast pace. In an effort to minimize our carbon footprint and further our efforts of being an eco-friendly company, there are a few different practices we have implemented in our work place.
NEW in 2019…
Coco Coir Recycling Program
Verdes grows all of our plants in coco coir. Coco coir is made of natural fiber extracted from the husk of coconuts. It is environmentally friendly as coco coir uses parts of the fruit that would typically go to waste.
After we harvest our plants, the left over coco coir and roots from the plant (also called the root ball) are disposed. Instead of dumping the root balls in landfills, Verdes sends them to Soilutions, in Albuquerque. Soilutions takes the root balls and reclaims the coco coir. The reclamation process consists of stripping all the nutrients and roots from the coco coir, returning the coco coir to its natural state. Once returned to its natural state, the coco coir can be reused. We are proud to partner with Soilutions, to do our part in protecting the environment while maintaining sustainable processes in our facility.
Toner Recycling Program
Printer cartridges are made up of plastics, metals, foam, ink and toner. Throwing them into landfill creates problems as these materials aren’t all biodegradable.
At Verdes we participate in the Konica Minolta Clean Planet Program to recycle our used toner cartridges. The Clean Planet Program recognizes its responsibility towards the environment and well-being of the planet. The program is a cost-free consumables recycling program that adds zero waste to landfill and zero incineration. At Verdes, we recycle 25-30 toner cartridges per month through the Clean Planet Program. We believe in lessening our footprint on this planet and doing our part to keep toner cartridges out of landfills.
Medicine Container Recycling
Many of our patients already participate in our in-store plastic container recycling program. By bringing these containers back to our dispensary we can ensure that all labels get removed and that the containers are properly recycled.
Another thing patients notice at Verdes is that our new patient registration process is unique from any other dispensary in Albuquerque. This is because we have laminated our new patient registration forms to help us reduce paper waste. Without this process, we would need to continually print out forms for every new patient, every time. With our reusable registration cards, important patient information gets entered into the computer immediately and then the card is wiped clean and is ready for the next patient.
Less Paper Waste
There are other behind the scene practices staff have adopted as well. Recycling bins are in all offices with signs above them to help show what items can and can’t be recycled.
Logs are all kept electronically to help reduce the use of paper. Any single-use paper is cut up and used for scrap paper, eliminating the need of post-its and other note pads.
These good habits don’t stop at the front doors of Verdes! Staff has even been able to take these practices beyond the workplace and implement some in their home. It takes a community to work together to make positive changes.
My Challenge to You
For the next 30 days bring us your empty plastic flower and pre-roll containers so we can be sure they are properly disposed.
We are always trying to find new ways to be environmentally friendly at the Verdes Foundation. Thank you for your help!
Caila M., Verdes Dispensary Assistant Manager