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Green at Barts Health

Barts Health's sustainability group

"Where do I even start?"

Whatever your job and your experience, there are changes you can make, here are some ideas...

Our Members Recommend Green Shopping Options

Our members have recommendations for gifts that wont cost the earth, as well as every day environmentally friendly essentials...

Shampoo/soap bars: Faith in Nature
Plastic/chemical free detergents: Eco-Egg ("order now - high demand!")
Second hand clothes: Vinted/car boot fairs
Second hand books/toys: boot fairs, neighbour swaps
Silicone body brushes: available from lots of sources online
Unpackaged fruit and veg' where possible: from Oddbox or similar
Toothpaste tabs: Parla
Bamboo/recycled toiled paper: Who Gives a Crap

Case studies

Here are some fine examples of changes that Barts Health staff (and friends) have made in their practice...

"Greener inhaler use" by Dr Alfred Ball (Foundation Y2 doctor, Queens Hospital BHRUT)
Aims/objectives: To reduce repeat Fostair® MDI prescriptions at a GP surgery by 10%.
Methods: EMIS was searched for patients with repeat Fostair MDI prescriptions.
Inclusion criteria: Age <65, no spacer, asthma. This yielded 18 patients. Patients were offered to switch to a lower global warming potential (GWP) inhaler. Their inspiratory flow rate and current treatment efficacy were assessed, before being taught DPI technique.
Results: Of the 18 patients, 3 (16.6%) were uncontactable, 8 (44%) agreed to switch inhalers and 7 (38.9%) declined. Additionally, 4 (27%) had insufficient control from their treatment regime and required stepping up.
Discussion: Asthma review provides an opportunity to assess inhaler technique as well as asthma control. 44% of patients were willing and keen to switch inhalers after being presented with the data. Many patients can achieve the same effect from DPIs as MDIs and pharmacologically equivalent inhalers are often available, enabling easy switching.
Relevance to/impact on the triple bottom line: The NHS has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 51% by 2025 to meet targets set by the climate change act. The NHS accounts for 3% of the total emissions of the UK. DPIs emit approximately 20-30 times less emissions than MDIs. It is estimated that a shift from MDIs to DPIs would reduce total NHS carbon emissions by 4%. Changing one patient from a MDI to DPI will save roughly 162,000g CO2 equivalent per annum.
[From Sustainable Healthcare Academic Research and Enterprise Conference 2021 Abstracts: Oral presentations, p18]

At the Royal London,  Zahra Shehabi has championed the use of Reusable Face Masks at the Dental Hospital, while student Rawand Ahmed Shado has switched us to biodegradable suction tubes.

Also at the Royal London, as featured on the Greener NHS website:

Quick Wins

Download the Cauli Box app

New at RLH's and Whipps X's Elior EatWell restaurants: you can use this new app to avoid using disposable cutlery...

We know many of you (and us) have been bothered by the constant use of single use packaging in the canteen. Great news is there is now an alternative! Whipps cross and RLH have introduced the caulibox scheme. A simple way of using a reusable container if you’re not able to stay and eat your lunch on a plate. Take it one step further and make sure you carry some reusable cutlery with you too. You can find some posters attached to this email- why not print a copy or two and share them in your staff area?

The canteens are also allowing reusable cups back in, if you remember to take yours you get a 20p discount on your hot drink. How many in your team can you get using a reusable cup? We’ll be offering a prize for whoever can get the biggest order! Take a photo of you and your team and send it in to us, or share it on social media.


Eat less meat and dairy:

We recently covered How to help patients transition to a healthy and sustainable plant-based diet at the Sustainable Journal Club, which reports:

"the most comprehensive analyses of the global farming system concluded that shifting to a plant-based diet would have the most impact on planetary health compared to any other single driver of climate change", citing the article Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers


Ditch the car:

Use public transport or active transport - see our dedicated page for more.


Change your search engine to Ecosia:

Visit They plant trees for every search you do!


Switch to a green bank:

Triodos offers "financial and banking services... for savers, investors and organisations who want to change the world for the better. Over 700,000 customers are already playing their part in our positive movement, making us one of the world’s most sustainable banks..." Investing? Consider ethical investment platforms Shared Interest and Nutmeg, and green investment app Clim8 Invest.


What are the carbon hotspots in healthcare?

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Banner image: "Warming Stripes for England from 1884-2020" from