Dr Liza Schneider – Holistic Vets – Vet Clinic Sustainability

[00:00:00] Julie South: Welcome to episode 50 of Paws, Claws and Wet Noses, the podcast, celebrating all creatures great and small. And the fantabulous professionals who look after them all.

I’m your show host Julie South. Today’s show is the second in the sustainable vet series where you get to listen in on the chat. I had a few weeks ago with Dr. Liza Schneider of award-winning Holistic Vets in Tauranga. .

[00:00:39] We talked about sustainability. Before I introduce Liza, if you haven’t heard the first in this series, I suggest you go back and listen to episode 49. And that episode I facilitated a three vet panel discussion with Dr. Francesca [00:01:00] Brown, Dr. Rose Unsworth, and today’s Dr. Liza Schneider. So that was episode 49 at paws claws Wet noses dot FM

[00:01:10] today, we take that discussion a little bit further and Liza shares what she’s done. But before we do that, I’d just like to bring your attention to the petition that I’m organizing right now to request our government allocate just two MIQ spaces per week for vets to come into New Zealand without having to play.

[00:01:32] The MIQ lottery before they start work, all signatures are 100% confidential. You can sign it at tinyurl.com/get2vetsnz. . And the two is number two. And it’s exactly what the NZVA is lobbying for as well.

[00:01:51] Bryan Gregor: I told my father when he was a student in Glasgow, he said, if you want to be a success in veterinary practice, just take the bowels open and trust the rest that [00:02:00] God nutrition is not an opinion.

[00:02:02] It’s a science. And they called me that weird herbal needle. That, and I, I just remember thinking. Well, I’m still going to do it cause I know it works and I’ve got the research to back it from reminiscences of the real James Harriet son to Pete nutrition, to acupuncture the bit podcast, discusses current animal health issues from around the world on veterinarian, Brian greeter from New Zealand, just search for the vet podcast wherever you get your podcasts from

[00:02:32] Julie South: Dr. Liza is one of New Zealand’s leading authorities and holistic animal health. As you’ll hear from her accent. She, and she talks about it today. She grew up in South Africa. . From pretty early on. she knew she’d be a vet when she grew up in 2003, Lisa established, what is today?

[00:02:54] Award-winning holistic vets and Tauranga, which is located in New [00:03:00] Zealand, spectacular bay of plenty region, holistic vets as a fully integrated veterinary practice, combining conventional veterinary medicine and surgery with complimentary therapy. It was the first of its kind in New Zealand. Lisa is also the founding trustee of a RRC wildlife trust and that’s the animal rescue and rehabilitation center.

[00:03:26] This is a charitable trust which provides care and services to rehabilitate wildlife and has been the recipient of community. Education is a key focus of ARRC, especially of children and to help achieve this. It’s produced a series of children’s books, illustrating the human impact on wildlife and what children can do to help.

[00:03:53] As you’ll hear today throughout her veterinary career, Liza has sought and applied complimentary [00:04:00] and natural therapies, which are easy to learn practical, to apply and highly effective at assisting her patients to heal. She has always believed that as a vet, it’s not simply her job to practice Bittner in science, but it’s her responsibility to make sure she always gives her patients the best possible care, knowing that she’s explored every option to enhance their health.

[00:04:28] Liza has served as a president of the New Zealand vet associations, complimentary veterinary medicine branch since 2010. And over the years, these are, has been recognized for her work in the community, her entrepreneurship and business acumen with several awards last year and 2020, she was the recipient of the New Zealand veterinary associations visit.

[00:04:52] And paint award, which is bestowed on an individual who’s made a considerable positive impact for the veterinary [00:05:00] profession. Lisa delights and educating, inspiring and entertaining people about sustainable healthcare and the importance of preserving our natural heritage, as I’m sure you’ll pick up soon, Liza is extremely passionate about what she does and what she believes.

[00:05:19] As always I’ll put all links mentioned in the episode page at paws claws, witnesses dot F M for you to find out more paws , claws and wet noses is sponsored by vet staff. If you’ve never heard of it, staff it’s New Zealand only. Recruitment agency, 100% dedicated to the veterinary sector and fit staff has been around since 2015 and works nationwide from Cape Reinga to the bluff and everywhere in between as well as helping Kiwis VetStaff also helps overseas, qualified veterinarians find work and [00:06:00] art here, or New Zealand vetstaff.co.nz. . As I said earlier, this episode was recorded a few weeks ago before the inside VA and the in Z VNA made the really hard decision to cancel this November’s conference. So some of what Lisa talks about in relation to conference as currently being reinvented, and I think the sustainable vets initiative.

[00:06:29] As planning an article and the December issue of this script, which has published by the New Zealand Vet Association. So keep your eyes peeled for that.

Now let’s hop right into the chat that I had with Liza. How did you get started with sustainability? What was that one? Aha moment. When you thought something has to change.

[00:06:54] Liza Schneider: Well, I was very little growing up in South Africa and as much as that’s a very majestic and [00:07:00] beautiful land, there’s also a whole lot of horrific stuff that goes on and you can really see man’s impact on nature with things like pollution, deforestation, species, extinction, and. And of course the starving people, animals that suffer because of it.

[00:07:14] And that just broke my heart. So it was a very young little thing. I promised myself that whatever I did in my life, I was going to grow up to do everything that I could to make a difference and to change that. So that’s always been a core part of what I’ve done.

[00:07:28] Julie South: When did you know that veterinary medicine?

[00:07:30] Was it.

[00:07:31] Liza Schneider: Well, when I was young in South Africa, we’ll say have these fabulous opportunities growing up with the debt. That was a very Everett conservationist. I was exposed to fantastic situations of interacting with animals that would be rehabilitated like lion Cubs, and baby hippopotamuses and rhinoceroses.

[00:07:48] And we got to the game parks and drive around in the Bush and conservation. Part of my ethos and upbringing. And of course we had a variety of pit with cats and dogs and a goose called Golda and snakes. [00:08:00] We had a monkey called it. And one day I saw our monkey Iyke. He was displaying some amorous behavior with our cat Panther and me and my brothers thought that maybe we’d have some mung cats delivered in a couple of months, but a couple of months later, we just had a beautiful litter of kittens.

[00:08:17] So we’re a little disappointed, but, um, I knew that I needed to understand a bit more about how these things work. And then with that I was known at school is the animal Looker. After a safe, there was a sick or injured bird or animal that was brought to me. And I was brought this little thing, hatchling.

[00:08:33] And, um, I didn’t think it would survive, but I did my best and overnight I kept it warm and fed it some food and woke up the next morning, tentatively opened this little box and thought blockers probably died, but it didn’t, it lifted its head in a chip the way. And it grew into this beautiful strong bird called a bull bull, which are delightful characters.

[00:08:49] Although in New Zealand, unfortunately they pissed, but over there, this little bubble that, and I got. Mainly because it had a really big appetite, but I’m also, for another reason that you’ll learn about [00:09:00] soon, bill gas would eat mulberries off the tree and sort of my finger and pick flies off the wall as guts grew.

[00:09:06] And her wings grew, uh, I created a cage for her outside my bedroom window that overlooked the swimming pool. And we had this lovely border colleague Gusto who used to chase, chase the dragon flies around the pool. And one day I was sitting in my room looking at this room pool. Well, I should have been doing my schoolwork.

[00:09:23] I was trying to, but some what’s out there bathing in the water dish that I put out. And next thing guts took out for a flat and instead of climbing, she plummeted and invest those excitement, chasing the dragonflies. She took one bite of guts and put guts. That’s hung out and are rushed outside. I was in tears, it was tied to this poor Gutstein in my head.

[00:09:43] I think the rebury guts and a beautiful Mulberry tree grew from bed. But, um, I knew from that moment that if I was to work with animals and learn about these biological systems, I had to learn how to look off their health and wellbeing so that in those events I could create, I could provide care and maybe have [00:10:00] saved guts.

[00:10:00] Although we know that that’s probably not possible.

[00:10:02] Julie South: Did you

[00:10:03] study and sacrifice.

[00:10:05] Liza Schneider: Yeah. I studied in South Africa and qualified over there and then came up with the green pastures of

[00:10:10] Julie South: New Zealand. You worked in South Africa, you would have done what two years compulsory training is it? Um,

[00:10:16] Liza Schneider: just missed it so well off the qualifying, I could come straight out to New Zealand proper at the time, he was really keen to get out of there cause we’d experienced some of the horrific things that go on with my stepdad, unfortunately being shot and killed over there.

[00:10:29] And he really wanted that. So I thought that would be a useful thing to leave South Africa for a little while, get some perspective and then return to South Africa after having a bit of time out. But he was so right. It’s really hard to live in that beautiful place. You really have to harden your heart and you see to such an incredibly gentle place, you know, mode two legged wildlife with AK 40 sevens and majestic landscapes.

[00:10:53] But yeah, not the diversity of what after we have. Yeah, and

[00:10:56] Julie South: I think we it’s easy. I [00:11:00] grew up in the east end of London, which wasn’t anywhere near as violent is a South Africa, but it was pretty, pretty hard. We take new Zealand’s safety for granted. I think.

[00:11:11] Liza Schneider: It’s difficult to know. What’s like to live in those harsh environments and even we’re not moved to New Zealand and we’d been living here for a year.

[00:11:18] And then we went back to South Africa to visit the contrast was just unbelievable. It really just struck me how much you have to put up a really big wall in order to cope. If you’re a gentle soul food who just doesn’t manage with all that stuff. Tell me a little

[00:11:33] Julie South: bit about your clinic. So you’re living in the beautiful bay of.

[00:11:37] Yeah. And it as a glorious place to live. Tell me about your clinic before and after.

[00:11:47] Liza Schneider: Okay. So, um, when, when I moved to New Zealand, I worked in Oakland for a couple of years in small animal practice. And it became clear to me that the venues that are hold will not commonplace and practice it as much as I wanted to make a [00:12:00] difference and not have to be in business.

[00:12:01] It became evident that if I wanted to run a practice and to treat animals the way that I thought was, uh, to the best of my ability, I would need to work for myself. So I moved down to Toronto for an opportunity to see. Setting up doing that and a big slot. The way that I work is I integrate complimentary therapies with conventional medicine and surgery.

[00:12:23] And I do that because I get frustrated by the limitations of conventional medicine and surgery. It’s so wonderful for many things like emergency medicine, which I absolutely love, and it can make a massive difference to improve animals’ quality of laughs. But especially these days with chronic degenerative health conditions.

[00:12:39] We ended up using medications that just address the symptoms. And sometimes that causes side effects of the medications. Then we need other medications to address the side effects. And we ended up in this vicious cycle. That is what I call not sustainable. And what I lack to call sustainable health care is an approach that integrates those complimentary therapies to arrive at a more sustainable [00:13:00] position.

[00:13:00] Where we look at means to support the immune system help, to support the body’s ability to heal. And when you use that hand in hand, conventional medicine and surgery with these complimentary therapies that is so elegant and we get some ads standing results for the best of both worlds, it’s a bit different, but

[00:13:16] cool.

[00:13:17] Julie South: I’m going to play devil’s advocate here for the listeners of this podcast are predominantly Vietnamese proficient. For the very sciency veterinarians who are listening there. And they’re hearing you talk about complimentary medicine and they’re thinking, oh my gosh, this is a bit, we were, this is a bit sort of out the end.

[00:13:43] How have you integrated the complimentary medicine so that it is. And the, the sustainability for it to be acceptable to those who are [00:14:00] 100% science bay.

[00:14:02] Liza Schneider: Well, interestingly enough, a lot evolves over the years and this lot to be said for common sense, which is not always so common, but when you have a patient in front of you that has some health condition that is not responding to conventional medications.

[00:14:17] Or a dog like a patient that actually took me years ago called . He had an auto-immune condition where he was having a whole lot of ulcers break at Randy’s mouth. Under his farms. He was in a bad way. It was the Arctic and doll and his bits put him onto medication, which made a massive difference for this auto-immune condition.

[00:14:34] These medications were immunosuppressive medications and that ease the symptoms and his quality of life was restored. But over time, these medications depleted his immune system and he developed an infection, obviously. And this infection was of a bag that was resistant to many antibiotics except for one called gentamycin, which unfortunately has a toxic effect on the kidneys in some instances.

[00:14:56] So the stock JS had to be put on these antibiotics, [00:15:00] which were causing his kidneys to fail. He was caught between a rock and a hard place. You know, what was going to get in this really bad infection, his kidneys failing or the auto-immune condition. If he didn’t have his medications. In my early days of practice, it was cases like Jess that came to me looking for solutions.

[00:15:15] What else can we do to help my animal is what our class. Asked for. And so we have to come up with innovative and that sort of interesting options to see what we can do. And it’s always a matter of weighing up the risks and benefits. And it’s also a matter of making sure that we making responsible use of these things and using them professionally to ensure that we get the results that we need.

[00:15:36] So for JS, he’s one of many thousands of animals that we’ve helped over the years. We managed to get him off all his conventional medications. He didn’t have any more bladder infection. His kidneys were fine and his auto-immune symptoms were managed and effective. Very rarely had a breakout and he had no need for medication.

[00:15:54] And I have a massive track record of these types of things unfolding. And when you look at [00:16:00] evidence-based medicine, there’s the evidence. There’s plenty of it. There’s not a placebo effect. And then. When you look at the top of things that we integrate, things like acupuncture and nutraceuticals, like a mega three fatty acids and glucosamine, those types of therapies we’ve been using for many, many, many years long before the scientists decided that this was okay to use and we actually should be using this kind of stuff.

[00:16:21] So it’s this constant battle. In a fight and look for these opportunities to see what we can be to benefit our patients and enhance their wellbeing and give our clients what they need for a more sustainable approach. This is ultimately a sustainable future because Doug’s like Jace or an unsustainable position.

[00:16:36] And if you reflect and look at us humans on this planet, you know, with COVID at the moment, it’s a massive issue. And yes, we’re scared of bugs. We’re scared of this virus. But there is so much that we can do to help to prevent this problem. We’ve learned about social distancing. We’ve learned about sanitizing.

[00:16:54] You’ve got the vaccination, but imagine if we were empowered with strategies to support our immune systems, and this [00:17:00] is not airy-fairy, we’re taught about this in med school. When it comes to animals, you look at stocking rates, you look at the nutrition, you look at. Nutrients that can potentially help them.

[00:17:09] And as bets, we were risk averse, perfectionist, and we get caught up in the clinical stuff. And sometimes we forget to look at their basic stuff. They can make a mess of difference that gets overlooked at sidelined. And we forget this whole arm of what we can do to help our patients in a different way.

[00:17:25] Your clients come to you because of your holistic approach or do they. To you thinking that you are just like every other beat and Intel wrong. And then, and then discover that there’s a whole bunch more hemp.

[00:17:44] Yeah, it’s really interesting. Clients come to us for a variety of reasons. In the early days, they certainly came out of desperation because they didn’t know what else to do for their animals.

[00:17:52] And they were hoping that complimentary therapies would help. And I love that because it’s such a wonderful opportunity to help to show them what a difference it can make for their animals. And [00:18:00] often they’ll have a current health condition and they’ll go, oh, will that work for me? But when you look at the holistic approach, We’re all taught this at big school.

[00:18:08] It’s not just honing in on a clinical diseases. Looking at the environment of animal lives in how much stress is it contending with and a whole host of other factors. So it’s basically taking a step back and addressing those other factors, which aren’t always easy for other bits in practice because of the pace of practice these days, especially with our veterinary shortages at our clinic.

[00:18:26] Those are things that we focus on. What’s this animal eating what’s its environmental. What’s going on for the human in order. Can this human managed to medicate them or take them out for walks? What needs to be done to look at this whole bigger picture? People come to us also because our values. A bit different from other vet practices in that regard where we need to take the time to talk to them.

[00:18:48] They are treated with respect and kindness, which is a very, very important part of what we do recently. It’s starting to Dawn on me that those compliment values of genuinely caring of having [00:19:00] consideration for our animals, people in our environment of having compassion, respect, and ultimately kindness.

[00:19:06] Those values are inherent in people who understand. Which is the optimal health of humans in people who want optimal care for their animals. So that’s inevitably medicine. And when it comes to the environment, those values are important as well. And ultimately the advances that we’re making to understand more about wellbeing and more about animal care and bore, better environment, we’re going to meet at this place where those values are an undertone.

[00:19:31] And so, you know, we see a lot of clients that come to us from all across the country. And in fact, we consult internationally as well. And yes, they come for difficult health conditions, but they also come because of the way that they’re treated a few,

[00:19:42] Julie South: a few months ago, I will put the links to the podcast that I’m referring to on the show notes page.

[00:19:49] For this episode, I was chatting with Dr. Jocelyn Birch baker of Queensland, and she is. [00:20:00] Her consults are 30 minutes long. They, she was a 15 minute consult clinic until locked down and in Rockhampton, Australia, Queensland. And then she went back. When they came out of lockdown, she went back to 15 minutes and her staff was saying to her, can we please go back to 30 minutes?

[00:20:20] And she. Yeah, how do I do that? I go from four, four consults an hour to two consults an hour. She said she’s never looked back. And one of the things that is different with her clinic is the VIPs admit the patient. In the reason she said the vets had met the patient is because while they’re doing that, they’re getting to hear about the whole environment.

[00:20:49] Without it being a question and answer interrogation type thing. It’s a casual, relaxed, her clients are not numbers, they’re people, and she [00:21:00] really gets to talk with them. So is that sort of.

[00:21:03] Liza Schneider: Absolutely. It’s a more qualitative approach. And although it seems counter-intuitive because you’re not getting the numbers through and you’re not getting the things in inspect, inject and collect approach through.

[00:21:13] Ultimately this is a more sustainable approach because it gives us clients value. The animals really get what they need. And it also gives you a job for four months. So this approach, we absolutely love improves patient outcomes, client and job satisfaction. It’s

[00:21:28] Julie South: improved the bottom line. She says, you know, financially I haven’t looked back.

[00:21:32] Liza Schneider: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s amazing that that follows when you do a really good job, the money flows as long as you value in yourself, in your team. Yeah. Um,

[00:21:40] Julie South: and that was the other thing she talked about too. Was respect and value for you. What does it mean for a clinic to be sustainable?

[00:21:51] Liza Schneider: Okay. So this is where the care and consideration and respect and kindness it’s applied to the environment as well.

[00:21:57] So when I first started my big clinic in 2003, I [00:22:00] was a mobile service. And eventually I grew into a little clinic and then a bigger clinic. And when my staff came on board, we had practices like. Separating out our, our rubbish to try and recycle some births. And, uh, some of my staff looks at me like, do we really have to do this?

[00:22:18] And all these little things, it’s a mindset over the years. We’ve always tried to strategize ways of how we can look after not just. But also our people and our environment. And so these days we’re so lucky because we’ve got this incredible team and all of us have the congruent values of having the environment, being an important part of what we do.

[00:22:38] So our team comes up with fantastic ideas, like the swabs that we use to scrub our surgical patients. And typically those are parties, at least party synthetic, and they have to go into that. So we got compostable swaps and we use those and they can go to compost. So that reduces our landfill activity, cat litter.

[00:22:56] We got compostable cat litter and a few years ago, the wildlife [00:23:00] trust that we run, we had actually instigated the Spader straight tech campaign, where we took 1200 Australian island cats off the streets and worked with them. But we’re having a lot of cat traffic through our clinic by making that change of catheter and using an industrial company.

[00:23:14] Facility. We reduced our landfill massively by many, many times. So it’s hard because again, in our professional as perfectionists, we want everything to be perfect. And we don’t want to take on something if we can only do a half measure of a job, but the important message here is that every little bit that you do helps to make a difference.

[00:23:33] If we can just change our mindset just a little bit and work together, we can make a massive difference.

[00:23:39] Julie South: I, I think I read somewhere that the kitty litter was it kitty dude.

[00:23:45] Liza Schneider: That Leah, this pussy do. And a couple of others. Yeah.

[00:23:48] Julie South: Katie. There’s a part of your was your biggest landfill concern at the time

[00:23:54] Liza Schneider: and really lucky cause our terrorist city council were proactive and want to tell businesses.

[00:23:58] So we had a consultant come [00:24:00] in and have a look at what we did and make recommendations as to what we could change. And that’s an ongoing thing. Our businesses very dynamic and we, we adapt and constantly change and innovate to do everything we can to mow that we can make the world a better place, not just for our patients and not just for our people, our clients and our team, but also the.

[00:24:18] Julie South: Why would a clinic Liza want to be sustained?

[00:24:22] Liza Schneider: Well, I guess ultimately, you know, for all searching our beings, we can go way, way back to potentially caveman times or ancient men. And there’s a lovely proverb from a native American chief. And he says, men did not weave the web of life is merely a strand in it, whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

[00:24:40] Back in those days, things were far more simple. We understood if we over-fished or depleted our lands. And we used our resources poorly, that would impact on our health and these days. We’ve created such a complexity of things. We’ve lost track of all of that, but those simplicities are Mo for me, and I love for our team.

[00:24:58] They just bring us back down [00:25:00] to earth and back to basics and back to nature. And it’s, it’s about knowing that we’re in this together, trying to make the world a better. So, you know, in our modern materialistic society, I think it’s easy to get caught up in profit being defined as money. But if you look at profit, profit is ultimately about fulfillment and success, and that’s also helping others to be fulfilled and to succeed.

[00:25:22] And if you just have that little shifted of changing values, again, profit, monetary flows

[00:25:27] Julie South: talking about profit as it going to cost a lot for a clinic to transfer from what they’re doing to being sustained.

[00:25:37] Liza Schneider: It depends on what you do and what initiatives you take on. You know, a lot of the stuff is actually cheaper than conventional stuff or mainstream stuff that you do.

[00:25:44] Some of it, for example, putting in solar panels, you could argue, well, that’s going to be a big GAF financial undertaking, but then longterm, you potentially going to save as well. There’s not a dollar amount on that feel good effect on, obviously you’ve got to weigh up the dollars and cents as a good practice manager and just bend carefully [00:26:00] the way that your team feels, knowing that you’re working together for the greater.

[00:26:04] Good. Good can just be fantastic. What would be

[00:26:06] Julie South: the first thing that you recommend a.

[00:26:11] Liza Schneider: Looking at just your mindset in terms of waste is probably the first one. Just look at, you know, what comes in and what goes out for us. It’s really cool. Because back in the day, when I set up my clinic and I’ve grown this clinical clinically, and I didn’t really have financial leverage to do much.

[00:26:27] And so I had to settle for working with business partners or suppliers that didn’t necessarily share our values, but these days, if a company approached us and they want us to get good for. We’ll hammer them as to what is the ethos? Do they care about the environment? What’s the packaging? What do they send stuff?

[00:26:43] And that’s where we’ve got to look to as you know, what’s the source of all this, because ultimately, you know, all this packaging that we get in from other places, if we can create awareness from our suppliers so that they can be more proactive to help us to make it easy, to reduce our waste. And that’s absolutely fantastic.

[00:26:59] And ultimately [00:27:00] we take it one step further, you know, this reducing. And then of course the other end is, is recycling or reusing Pratt. What about regenerating and looking at ways that we can. Add to making a natural environment better instead of just depleting. It it’s very much a mindset to get into, but little things are to go, okay, well, what’s in my hand, it’s a, it’s a box of wound tablets.

[00:27:23] All right. What can go in the recycling? What has to go in the waste cannot ask this company. If they can maybe provide us some, some of this material in the, in a more sustainable form. What do I bring into work for lunch? You know, do I bring it in a container that I just check out? Or do I bring it in a container that I reuse?

[00:27:39] Do I go and buy takeaways every day? And I create more waste that way. And it’s just a lot, a lot more consciousness. And I think it’s a, back-end our wellbeing that we become more self-aware and we understand what’s important to us. It’s just being a little bit more conscious about what’s important to the environment and the little things that we can do to make a difference.

[00:27:58] Switching off [00:28:00] electricity is a lot of things, you know, switching off the power of the walls, we don’t use it just using your resources. You you sit

[00:28:07] Julie South: that you go back to some of your suppliers and suggest that, or ask them to, could they repackage differently? How receptive are they?

[00:28:19] Liza Schneider: Some of them vary. Some of it it’s, it’s a big in is there’s a lot of people that are quite passionate about making change.

[00:28:27] And I think, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s growing in momentum and within the next couple of years, I think there’s difficult legislation that’s been brought in to make sure their packaging improves in leaps and bounds. And it has to because we’re just messing up our planet. So, you know, that legislation will defer.

[00:28:44] Helped to force a lot of change, but yes, people want to, and this is the exciting thing is by being involved and collaborating and networking with other victims next, instead of us being like, oh, I recycle that’s a hippy thing to do. Um, um, [00:29:00] but, but strangers actually now like good on you. That’s fantastic.

[00:29:02] We’ve been wanting to do that for ages. What. It’s a big part of what we’re trying to shift this. This is not a strange hippy thing and holistically, it’s not a bunch of hippies out in the practice. We’ve actually got our feet on the ground and we’re doing what we can to make a difference in common sense.

[00:29:17] Practical ways. How

[00:29:20] Julie South: of your waste would you say is recycling.

[00:29:23] Liza Schneider: I don’t have the exact figures with me, but we’ve been so lucky to participate in the Taronga resource wise business program. And we were the first business in Taronga to achieve gold status. And I think in our last audit, in order to do that, we had to have about 75% of our waste recycling.

[00:29:39] What about

[00:29:39] Julie South: shops?

[00:29:42] Liza Schneider: That’s going to go to medical waste, but all of that is considered in, you know, they, they look at things of what are you divert. So we’d have to wait a cardboard and being in a city. It’s fantastic because we’ve got, uh, a place that will pick up their cardboard and come and grab it. Got the industrial capacity facility that will come and grab.

[00:29:58] And the various stuff that goes on [00:30:00] for recycling and our team be mindful of what we can do using our own local compost and our wound forms and, um, being mindful of what packaging we use for our lunches and that kind of thing. So talk

[00:30:10] Julie South: to me about the, these wind farms. Yeah.

[00:30:17] Liza Schneider: Farming is a good way just to use food matter and then return. The waste back to the land. So basically it replenishes the soil. And if you’re a good gardener in there, you know, the benefits of that, I don’t have very green fingers. I’m quite good. Well, I’d like to think I’m much better with animals, but I’m not so good with clots, but yeah, the wounds will help to break down all of that matter and create new substances for the soil.

[00:30:40] So they’re helping to reduce. And as far list leftover food scraps that would go into just landfill. And I just didn’t decompose cause it’s amongst a whole lot of fun stuff. So it’s making that process more efficient at our clinic. We also run arc wildlife trusts over a charity that takes in more than 800 birds wildlife every year.

[00:30:59] So [00:31:00] we’re pretty busy with a lot of wildlife in mites. And occasionally we get a worm from a wind farm to help support the cause

[00:31:05] Julie South: somewhere I a photograph of your beautiful garden.

[00:31:11] Liza Schneider: Oh, yeah. And

[00:31:13] Julie South: you feed you, you. Produce food. Is that

[00:31:17] Liza Schneider: correct? Yes. So we’ve got a wonderful headedness, Mel. She’s got amazingly green fingers and she looks after our veggie garden, she created it.

[00:31:24] Cause if it will lift up, lift up to me and it really wouldn’t exist, but yeah, we’ve got some beautiful fruit growing from there that our team eats and we can share with our inmates, the little rabbits and Guinea pigs that come through. And some of the birds are very proud of, of what she’s done there and that we can facilitate that was that here.

[00:31:42] Yeah. Yeah. When,

[00:31:44] Julie South: when you’re employing new staff, what sort of questions to you ask to, to find out whether their, their values match your values?

[00:31:57] Liza Schneider: Oh, it’s such a good question, too, really. And [00:32:00] over the years, you know, I never wanted to be in business and I always just wants to be a vet, but I’ve had to learn to be an employer and be a good employer.

[00:32:07] I’ve always thought for our employees may work, be your vehicle to your happiness, but, um, I’m not very good at, at, uh, at least judging or understanding people and let it use. I’ve been so lucky to have an incredible manager, but in early days, our hired thieves and bullies and nasty people that I had a lot of tough lessons to learn that these days, the act team is just amazing.

[00:32:30] People come to us as students often, and like how we want to work here, our manager, she’s just incredible at sniffing out. She genuine and authentic about their values. We’re very clear about our values. This is a low drama environment. We get to work as a team and have each other’s backs, and we’re here to make a difference, lots of animals, people in our environment.

[00:32:48] And we ask questions along those lines, you know, what’s important to you. What are you doing in your spare time these days? Thank goodness. We just attract those incredible people that are like-minded and have those compliments that.

[00:32:57] Julie South: Talking about, you’ve just given me a [00:33:00] perfect opportunity. S you are not already aware of it.

[00:33:04] Fit staff as running a competition in honor of fitness awareness week. It closes this Friday and what we want as to support the awesome ness of. The nurses and clinics, as we want to see photographs of what fit nurses do to keep themselves or bright eyed and bushy tailed out of work. And then we’re putting all of the entries into a drawer and we are giving away five lunchtime shouts through fitness awareness week one, every single day of the week.

[00:33:46] Liza Schneider: Yeah, that’s fantastic. Yeah. That’s a really good point. Cause kind of rewinding a little bit to what you were discussing about, um, having a higher volume of time to spend with your clients have witnesses are so under utilized in, in veterinary practices across the country and [00:34:00] they such an incredible resource.

[00:34:02] Julie South: Ah, okay. So, so let’s talk about sustainable people. Let’s change tech a bit. How do you. Honor and respect your nurses. What, what do you do different there that keeps them sustained and energized and in your class?

[00:34:24] Liza Schneider: Yeah, I guess it’s just coming back to those venues of genuinely caring. These are, these are our family.

[00:34:30] This is not just, you know, employees, we’re attacking the team. We care about each other and that evolves into considering them and their needs. And ultimately, you know, what can we do in our workplace to have them happy and fulfilled inside work and outside work? And everybody’s different. So there’s a massive diversity.

[00:34:51] And I think in times gone by in business, people want to box things. You want it to be black and white, but the reality is in veterinary science and our day jobs in people’s [00:35:00] needs. It’s plenty shades of gray and you’ve got to have great communication skills. You’ve got to have a team that is honest, that knows what they want.

[00:35:08] Eric, they want to grow as people and you can work together for each other’s mutual benefit. And win-win, so there’s always striving act team to look after the needs of our people. And it’s not just, you know, what somebody needs outside work. It’s what they need inside work, as well as the business needs and what the client needs are, what the animal needs.

[00:35:27] And I see aspects having this incredible opportunity. Balance all of these needs because that’s what we have to do on a daily basis. So if you run a vet practice, it’s just a bigger job because you’ve got all those other aspects to consider. But in reality, according to our one health model, this is what it’s all about.

[00:35:42] It’s balancing the needs of animals, people in our environments. So we’re really skilled in this, in this. And the more we can do that in the more people feel that you, then we can make our world a better place. And for our nurses and our team, they’ve always got fantastic ideas and it’s acknowledging them and integrating them.

[00:35:57] And our vets are quite happy to be bossed [00:36:00] around by our nurses and give us some good ideas as to what we can do and make our world a better place. While we put our heads in the textbooks, trying to figure out what to do. Well,

[00:36:07] Julie South: how big is your team? How many vets and nurses? We

[00:36:10] Liza Schneider: got four weeks and 16 of a team entitled.

[00:36:18] Julie South: That’s that says considerable size team.

[00:36:23] Liza Schneider: Yeah. A few parts almost, but, um, yeah, there’s lots of us. Yeah. There’s a lot of merit in having part-time as, especially for our vet team, it seems to sustain them or easily, but it can be really challenging without that continuity. So again, excellent communication skills with are so important.

[00:36:39] Julie South: The doctor I mentioned before from Rockhampton, her clinic is a part time. Staffed clinic. And she, she thinks that it’s just the best way to go. How hard might it be to introduce sustainability [00:37:00] into a clinic?

[00:37:02] Liza Schneider: It can be because especially in some of the older practices with all the values, you know, this isn’t a nice thing to do.

[00:37:08] It’s silly. It’s hippy it’s why would you consider an recycling? We’ve got plenty of other more important things to do. Being a Tagalog with those attitudes is hard work, but, you know, it’s those practices that have those attitudes that probably died have well. Staff and team Eva. And thankfully the world is changing and the students that come through our clinic, we’ve always encouraged them to make sure that they’re in an environment where they feel valued and appreciated instead of being downtrodden and, and appreciate.

[00:37:33] And, you know, to stand up for what is right, because if we all just take things lying down and we looked in my head, the world being a better place, and that’s how I think it has been for many years. But thankfully in recent times we started to kick that old bottle out the door. So yes, it’s all about attitudes.

[00:37:48] If you work with the dynamic team, there’ll be open to this business out there, general business in New Zealand, you have to be sustainably. You have to be thinking of the environment. Our veterinary industry is behind in that regard. [00:38:00] And there’s this magical opportunity. What we finding more and more is that there are vets out there or vet techs or witnesses that want to do something for the environment, but they’re a little bit scared to speak up and with a little bit of support.

[00:38:11] And I find actually there’s more than one of them in the team that feels. And that collaboration and working together that generates momentum and also just feeling safe enough that you don’t have to have it. Perfect. You don’t have to do a mammoth amount of things to start with something. And that’s just absolutely brilliant.

[00:38:29] And that’s very contrary to the way that aspects think, because we need to have things properly planned and organized. And every I dotted and T crossed risks mitigated, but we all need to start somewhere in the little things really count

[00:38:41] Julie South: resistance. Might someone let’s say you’ve got a, a practice manager or a vet or a nurse who’s listening to this and a clinic where.

[00:38:56] The owner or the lead fit will say, uh, not. [00:39:00] Yes. Happy. How would you suggest they start?

[00:39:05] Liza Schneider: Well, I would say if the management are not prepared to be looking at things, they should try and find a job elsewhere. And with FINRA shortages and fitness shortages around place, I’m sure there’d be other practices with a much better mindset where they’d be much more appreciated.

[00:39:20] Yeah. Those attitudes need to go out the door and there’s plenty of evidence to demonstrate that this is what is. This is business out there. Businesses are becoming more aware. You could use the excuse that it might cost you much. And for some things that will cost a lot, but five other things, it doesn’t cost as a cost to bring your lunch in and a recyclable container that you can reuse.

[00:39:40] It doesn’t cost to separate out your rubbish and put it in a recycling bin. The feel good is just fantastic. So. To me, it just it’s pushing the extremes of, you know, the old guys stuck in their ways that won’t change that one self reflected one grow. And those that really want to grow and develop people, look after themselves value each other [00:40:00] work as a team.

[00:40:00] Look after the environment, those guys are going to thrive and they are thriving. So it’s just a, for any of you guys that are getting bashed out there, hanging in there, come talk to nice people and we’ll help you. How do

[00:40:12] Julie South: they contact?

[00:40:14] Liza Schneider: So, and for our, uh, working group where we’re S we’re now being rebranded to sustain a bits of being the sustainable big practice group.

[00:40:23] And we have a page on Instagram, we have a Facebook page, and on there, there are posts about the little and big things that you can do to help, to make a difference to the environment. Can be part of the community, post some questions, see the things that are going out. They get some ideas. Yeah. Just, you know, keep, keep rolling the ball just a little bit at a time.

[00:40:41] And if you have questions or concerns, posts get attached with one of us, we’re all here to help them make a difference in chatting to rose Unsworth. A couple of days ago, she’s also been instrumental in helping out. To drive forward. She’s organizing a stand at the conference at the end of the year, which we’ve been [00:41:00] kindly gifted, which is just so awesome, but she’s overwhelmed by all the people who just want to help and the kindness that’s involved and the guy, and, you know, it comes down to those venues.

[00:41:09] And interestingly, the question is, is do people who care about the environment inherently have kindness and his kindness to such an important part of a sustainable future for wellbeing and caring for, and. And that’s not an easy road when you’re kind, because the previous purchase business model wanted to slap it out of you.

[00:41:28] Something that’s a lot of nonsense, but I reckon that’s the way of the future.

[00:41:32] Julie South: I also believe that what you give out, you get back.

[00:41:38] Liza Schneider: Yeah.

[00:41:39] Julie South: And, and when you see, see the world through eyes of love, you’re looking for love. So you, you get it back.

[00:41:50] Liza Schneider: Yeah. There’s so much goodness like that. And you know, what, if science hasn’t been proven all that stuff, it will.

[00:41:55] And it doesn’t take common sense to know that we use our heads so much, but our hearts know [00:42:00] better in this journey. And life is a lot about finding out what’s going on in your heart.

[00:42:04] Julie South: Exactly. Lisa, do you need your local council to get on board in any way

[00:42:10] Liza Schneider: with. And for us, it’s been very beneficial because they’ve provided consultants to help guide us as to what we can do better.

[00:42:18] They’ve connected us with contractors that can help us to address various problems that we’ve had. And in a city like tower on the thank goodness, we’ve got smaller rural towns. There’s not necessarily a lot that’s going on. And I think that the tower on the city council is one of the leading councils in New York.

[00:42:32] Addressing waste problems. So again, we’re just so fortunate, but it’s definitely worthwhile, you know, whatever city or town you live in, just reaching out to the council and seeing if there’s something going, if not, maybe completely

[00:42:43] Julie South: how many clinics in New Zealand as sustainable, do you know? And then what’s the definition of sustainable.

[00:42:50] Liza Schneider: Well, plenty shades of gray as usual. And I guess for us, for our group state of it, it’s just a matter of, you know, continually [00:43:00] planting that seed so that ultimately that seed is cultivated into a great big forest. We all have this feeling of looking off our planet and greening it up so that it can help to ease a lot of the environmental pressure on our planet.

[00:43:13] Since we established this group that just over a year ago, we steadily been getting more and more involved. Our Instagram group was just recently set up in two, three months ago and we got a good sort of 200 followers and everybody. Group. I think we’ve got sort of four hundred-ish, so it’s not massive, but it’s tickling away.

[00:43:31] And you know, word travels is also a lot to be said about quality versus quantity. So it’s evolving. I think at some stage it’s going to snowball because there is pressure from legislation to look at our waste, you know, that’s going to come and we’re all starting to learn. Science is showing that wellbeing is important and it’s not just wellbeing of, of one area.

[00:43:52] It’s all connected at one health model. We know it’s all connected. And one health model typically is focused on all the negatives about zoom seeds [00:44:00] and epidemic. Well, that kind of stuff, which is important, but it’s a positive spin on all of it. And the positive spin is how can we support chance, wellbeing?

[00:44:08] What heaven?

[00:44:08] Julie South: What would you like to say that I haven’t asked yet?

[00:44:11] Liza Schneider: I think you’ve covered a lot of bases and it’s just so wonderful how we’ve brought in that wellbeing aspect and all that. It’s just such an important part of it to help people to think of that bigger picture and how well it ties in

[00:44:23] Julie South: one question I do have, and I don’t know whether you can answer this.

[00:44:29] What about somebody who’s not on Facebook and doesn’t have Instagram who doesn’t do social media. How can they find out

[00:44:37] Liza Schneider: about this? Yeah, so our fits good magazine, we’ve gotten each issue, an article called eco initiatives that eco initiatives article is showcasing the incredible things that fit practices or with industries doing out there to help, to inspire and keep that ball rolling.

[00:44:54] And that’s just some exciting. Excited about it and she helps us. Yeah. We [00:45:00] all work together to just populate that as far as possible. And then it’s just a matter of the one-on-ones, you know, always getting in touch by the phone or coming to visit a big clinic if necessary and feeling supported in whatever way.

[00:45:14] Julie South: That’s that’s a good answer. Thank you. I, I hadn’t thought about the vet script because I know quite a lot of people don’t do

[00:45:21] Liza Schneider: social. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good point. It’s a really good point. And I guess that’s an important thing, because again, like so many things in life, there were a lot of negatives about a brief, you can see the positive and, um, yeah.

[00:45:34] In this case, work with the community in a positive way to make a difference. That’s really cool.

[00:45:39] Julie South: Are you planning on getting a website?

[00:45:43] Liza Schneider: We. We, we haven’t really gone to that stage of planning at the stage. Uh, you know, we’re a bunch of volunteers that are just collaborating, catching up regularly to chat about ideas.

[00:45:55] Ideally, this is not going to be something that has to be hosted by a separate [00:46:00] group. Ideally, these initiatives are integrated within what it takes to be a vet or within our membership organizations, where this is valued as something that we all want to do to make it about.

[00:46:12] Julie South: Here’s a question, uh, most sustainable VIPs, independence or corporates.

[00:46:19] Liza Schneider: I think we’ve certainly, we certainly have haven’t yet had a big corporate say, Hey, we want to be part of this movement, but we know that there are clinics that are part of corporate. People who have contacted us to say, Hey, we’re, we’re doing this, this and this. What else can we do? Or, Hey, we’re having trouble with this.

[00:46:35] What can you suggest? I think it’s still relatively in its infant stages, but yeah, there’ll be fantastic. When the corporates really come out in a big way to, to leverage potential points of difference that they really care about the environment.

[00:46:48] Julie South: Right. Wonderful. We got through this. You didn’t get called out.

[00:46:53] Lovely. Awesome. I just love your passion. No,

[00:46:58] Liza Schneider: thank you. [00:47:00] That’s an important part of helping to inspire change. I think with such a timid introverted, proficient, and we’re really scared to put our head on a lemon and be passionate, but passion drives. And this are much opportunity with the things that we can do.

[00:47:16] It’s really, really exciting. So thank you for your passion.

[00:47:19] Julie South: Passion is contagious, right?

[00:47:21] Liza Schneider: It’s original paws and claws one page. And I saw fantabulous on there. I was like, yeah, I know that word. I thought I created a pretty clearly

[00:47:32] Julie South: it’s. It’s how it paws, claws and wet noses as the, the V podcast celebrate.

[00:47:38] All creatures great and small, and the fantabulous professionals who

[00:47:42] Liza Schneider: look after them. It’s a wonderful, and you know, that kind of down to earth linger, our profession has long needed a kick up the back to just stop being so rigid and just accept that we can all be more down to earth and real people that’s real breakthrough stuff.

[00:47:56] So good on you

[00:47:57] Julie South: is certainly [00:48:00] passionate. Don’t you think to find out more about holistic vets, you can visit holistic vet. Dot co.in Zed. The clinic’s mission statement can be found on the home page of the website and at ERs. And it’s what everybody at the clinic works towards. Like Lisa said, working towards a healthier planet.

[00:48:23] Our aim is to regain and sustain long-term. Optimal health for our patients, so that animals have a greater quality of life. And the owners have peace of mind. The sustainable vets community on Facebook can be found at sustainable vet practice in Zed. And you can go check them out and say hello. They would love for you to go over there and visit them.

[00:48:53] If you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, number 49, we at Liza Francesca [00:49:00] and rose. Introduce houses, how the sustainable initiative started. Then please go do that because it is a really interesting. Episode, there’s lots of useful information there. You can find the link at pause, claws, witnesses dot F M episode 50 as always.

[00:49:20] Thank you for your time for spending your time with me. If you haven’t already. Please go and click that follow button wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, it’s free. And it means that you’ll never miss out on an episode. I’m always up for feedback and I’m always up for ideas for. Regular articles, whatever you want on this podcast podcast.

[00:49:52] Thank you for listening. This is Julie south signing off cat kitty here. Kehoe God bless [00:50:00] and take care. Pause claws and wet noses is sponsored by vet staff. If you’ve never heard of it, staff it’s new, Zealand’s only full service recruitment agency. 100% dedicated to the veterinary sector fit staff has been around since 2015 and works nationwide from Kate rehang it to the bluff and everywhere in between as well as helping Kiwis fits.

[00:50:27] Also hubs overseas, qualified veterinarians find work and art and New Zealand fit. staff.co dot indeed.


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