Guide to green anaesthesia | Association of Anaesthetists
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Guide to green anaesthesia

Guide to green anaesthesia

There are two areas where anaesthetists can make a practical contribution towards tackling climate change. Many of you will already be taking steps in your personal life to reduce your impact on the environment. The same principles apply to how you might consider conducting your professional life.

Browse this section for practical information and advice on how to promote greener anaesthesia in your daily work and department.

An excellent article in the BMJ* provided 10 practical actions for all doctors interested in combating climate change:

  1. Inform yourself about the basic science of climate change, the health benefits of taking action, and the urgency of doing so
  2. Advise your patients. Better diet and more walking and cycling will improve their health and reduce their carbon emissions
  3. Save energy and money through house insulation, turning off appliances and lights and reductions in use of goods and services
  4. Drive and fly less, walk or cycle more, teleconference/webcast
  5. Eat local food, less meat, and less processed food - a low carbon diet is a healthy diet. Drink tap water
  6. Advocate locally
  7. Agitate for personal carbon entitlements and financial incentives to reduce carbon costs
  8. Advocate population stabilisation, by promoting literacy and promoting women’s access to birth control, via the International Planned Parenthood Federation or Marie Stopes International
  9. Advocate a climate change agenda at all meetings
  10. Ally yourself with other health professionals

*Adapted from BMJ 2008; 336: 1507:

You can also find more information at the NHS Sustainable Development Unit website and the Sustainable Operating Theatres network. 

Or read Dr Tom Pierce's The environment, the gas bill and the route to sustainable anaesthesia article from the Royal College of Anaesthetists' bulletin.

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