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Dinah realises she is a bit green on the recycling front

Monday

Surgery. Check accounts, looking for potential economies. Electricity and gas bills have rocketed since extension went up. Turn all lights off in back corridor and remove paper towels from staff toilet; we are spending far too much on consumables (and where did that fancy towel dispenser come from?). Discuss merits of sustainable energy with practice manager. Solar panels unlikely to yield much but surely wind energy could be harnessed? PM agrees, but is more worried by my mobile phone costs and why we get through so many printer cartridges.

Start late: first patient works for local authority on recycling van. He has swollen chin and is worried he's caught something from rats and maggots infesting unwashed cans. (Ugh! Note: do not have recycling bins outside surgery). Find dental abscess; suggest dentist appointment plus gloves and Health and Safety. Next patient has cough and works for tattoo studio but her main worry is her daughter – child is fed best organic food but is she underweight?

Three visits. Drive off, musing over 'green transport' idea. Would PBC group be interested in community transport service bringing patients to surgery? What about printer cartridge refills?

Wednesday

At PCT – review healthy lifestyles strategies. Walk to supermarket in unsuitable footwear for lunchtime sandwich, pass schoolkids queued outside chip shop. Curry sauce seems popular: consider developing super-nutritious dip for planned surgery-based internet cafe

(also containing aspirin and statin). Decaffeinated, of course.

Surgery – delayed start, searching for plaster for feet. Get chatting to patient who runs business mashing recycled newspaper into insulation material; would we like some for surgery? Plus he could do me a reed pond at the back. Would it smell?

Disturbed by banging noise – staff trying to make coffee in darkness, operating kettle by the light of the open fridge. Authorise switching lights on and investment in vacuum flasks. Nurse has replaced paper towels in interest of infection control. Rush home late, poorer but wiser.

Friday

Set off to cycle to PCT. Raining. Go back for car. Meeting cancelled – could have worked at home, much greener, but would PCT pay electricity bill?

Late home, kids have made their own tea but I get ticking off for having fridge full of organic food. Don't I know it is overpriced and less nutritious than chemically fertilised type? Retreat to study and look up wind turbines on internet. Pity regulations too stringent; however, for $100 can get a solar-powered handbag. Could be useful for charging mobile phone?

Taste unpleasant organic wine.

Go to off-licence for gin.

Dinah Roy is a GP in Spennymoor, chair of Sedgefield PBC group and co-PEC chair of County Durham PCT

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