ECP Viewpoint: Athens Eye Care
As the owner of two independent eyecare practices in Ohio—Athens Eye Care and Hocking Hills Eye Care—Shane Foster, OD, needs to keep in touch with his patients of all ages, including identifying emerging trends and initiatives that not only serve his practices but also contribute to the well-being of his patients and the global environment.
“I think the topic of sustainability continues to gain interest among the public as we see more and more reports about climate change and the future of our global environment. Millennials were the first generation to really focus on green initiatives and protecting the environment, and Gen Z has followed behind with even more emphasis on sustainability,” said Dr. Foster.
“These two generational groups are not only more active and vocal about green initiatives, but they also make decisions about where to make purchases and what companies to support based on those companies’ involvement in sustainable practices.”
He said, “To me, sustainability means including the environmental impact into your thought process when it comes to making business decisions. We live in a world and a society that is inherently causing harm to the environment through waste, emissions, and use of resources, but we can make small decisions in our everyday lives and in our business plans to help mitigate that damage.
“My practice is in an area where we don’t have to bring up sustainability with our patients—they are often the first to mention it,” he said. “They love the recycling bins all over the office, and they appreciate that we are a One by One TerraCycle center for contact lens waste. Our doctors firmly believe that a daily disposable contact lens is the cleanest, safest, and healthiest option for our patients. The number one concern when discussing this with patients usually isn’t cost—it is the amount of waste that a daily contact lens produces. I am grateful that I can discuss the program and Plastic Bank with them to help put their minds at ease.”
“CooperVision has been a great partner in our practice, not only for their products and support, but also because they truly value sustainability as a core guiding principle in everything they do. Their support of Plastic Bank to make their products truly plastic neutral is such an amazing initiative, and it truly helps me, my staff, and our patients feel better about the amount of plastic waste that is created by contact lens wearers.”
Dr. Foster also identifies Bausch + Lomb as “a wonderful partner in sustainability, with the wide availability of its One by One TerraCycle program for contact lens waste. We educate our staff and our patients on the proper way to recycle all waste, since some items like solution bottles and the boxes they come in can be recycled in the traditional way, but contact lens packaging, bottle caps, vials, and contact lens cases must be sent to TerraCycle.”