Greenhouse gasses are a by-product of energy production, and are a major threat to a healthy planet.

These gasses, of which CO2 is the most well-known, hold heat in the atmosphere.

Due to the burning of fossil fuels (coal and oil), the level of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is now so high, too much heat is held in, endangering the livability of our planet.

While it’s often called “global warming,” the result of too much heat in the atmosphere can actually cause severe weather patterns of all types.

As the ice-caps melt, sea levels rise, endangering coastal and island communities. Warm air holds more moisture, causing massive floods, like those seen in Pakistan and Australia in recent years.

Deforestation and over-development of land exacerbate the effects of greenhouse gasses, generating more heat, and stripping the Earth of plants and trees that can bring greenhouse gasses back into balance.

The ocean acts as a natural air-conditioner, cooling the air in the atmosphere to maintain balance.

But pollution and increased atmospheric heat are causing the ocean to warm. If we continue the current pattern, the ocean will stop acting as an air-conditioner, and start acting as a heater – sending the planet into a rapid, uncontrollable warming pattern, devastating to human life.

Experts agree that 350 parts per million is the safest level of greenhouse gas in our atmosphere.

Currently, our greenhouse gasses measure approximately 388 parts per million, and that number rises by 2 points every year.

For more information about the impacts of greenhouse gas levels and the global effort to bring the number down, check out

Carbon Footprint:

the greenhouse gasses emitted by one person, organization, product or activity.

Everyone can take steps to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gasses,

even your dental practice.

A single dental practice uses a lot of energy – bright lighting, computers, compressors, vacuum systems, dishwashers, and other equipment are necessary for quality care.

Simple things your practice can do to conserve energy:

Choose energy-star equipment
Switch to energy-saving lightbulbs
Use LED Operatory lighting
Turn off computers at night
Choose products with a low carbon footprint, such as re-usables

Download the EDA Checklist of Standards for Green Dental Offices for a comprehensive list of energy-saving green dentistry initiatives!