Get Green, Diabetics!

February 14, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

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Are you into ‘green’?

Anyone can join the eco-friendly green movement. All you need to do is to begin acting in a more planet friendly way. The Earth is being depleted of its’ natural resources at an alarming rate. Even with re-forestation measures, the global effect that humans have is taking a toll.

I can remember in my teens hearing about how global warming would be impacting my grandchildren. Funny thing, I am seeing the impact of our parents and grandparents today. Shifting weather patterns is only one of the symptoms being felt. Of course, the planet does go through cycles and this could be one. I would prefer to have a hand in helping the planet thrive, though, no matter the cause of our current situation.

What does this have to do with me?

You are probably wondering what in the world a conversation about going green is doing on a diabetic blog. Heck, this is the perfect place for an eco-friendly discussion! Take a peek at the supplies you have on hand right now. Do you see plastic medication containers (pill bottles)? Lancets for your blood glucose meter come in a little box, then in some, are packaged again in plastic baggies. Syringes are in boxes, then plastic bags. If you receive your testing supplies through the mail or via a delivery company, again there is another box and packing material.

When all of this is gathered together, right in front of you, you have a very large eco-footprint. You can reduce this footprint on the planet by recycling as much as possible. If you are in doubt about what can be recycled, try putting your zip code into a website that locates recycle centers in your area, like Earth 911.

That doesn’t get rid of my containers!

Sadly, it is very hard to recycle the plastic in pill bottles. The plastic is of a different consistency than the plastic we are used to recycling. Some pharmacies will take old bottles and shred them, but that still does not change the fact that eventually these containers make it back into our eco-system at one point or another. You can use the bottles for crafts, to hold small items, or possibly donate them to your local vet or a church that ships them to developing countries.

When an item cannot be recycled, perhaps it is time for people to raise their voices and ask “Why?” Prescription bottles are manufactured by the millions, there has to be a way to use a different type of material to make them. With enough people demanding it, sooner or later someone will have to listen. Try contacting your state representative for help on this issue! Find your State Rep here.

Ok, Julie, but I still have needles and glass insulin bottles.

Not long ago I found a request for insulin bottles. I wrote the lady who wanted them, but never heard back. So, I don’t think she is looking for bottles now, but you can do what she was. If you are crafty, use your insulin bottles. Tiny lights for dollhouses, lampposts for model towns, and glitter filled decorations for a wreath. Heck, you could cover with glitter and hang from your Christmas tree if you did not have small children. There are so many possibilities for these.

The glass is fragile, so use thick gloves and a lot of caution when you remove the metal tops. This metal is thin and can be peeled off with needle nose pliers. You can also buy tiny corks so you can hold liquids.

Need more ideas?
Beach In A Bottle
Perfume for Your Bottles!
More Ideas

Syringes, did you forget?

No, I didn’t forget. Syringes cannot be recycled. Your only option is to re-use the syringe yourself. Many health professionals do not recommend this, so I am not going to offer information on re-using your syringes. For this, you need to speak with your doctor.

Caps, though, are another matter. As a child I would use the plastic caps to my mother’s syringes as cups for my Barbie dolls. You can use these in crafts, too. One idea is to hot glue the caps to a small, flat piece of wood to hold beads and other tiny craft materials. Small amounts of paint can be held, as well. Anything liquid, really, that needs to be in small quantities.

Paper Packaging

Card board and paper are the easiest things to recycle out of everything you accumulate. Scribble out your name and information, then place it all in your recycle bins. If you like, you may shred paper to further reduce its’ size and the possibility of someone finding your information. Often people will use shredded paper in packages when shipping items. This is a great way to recycle and to eliminate your need to purchase other packing material like Styrofoam. (bad, bad Styrofoam!)

Jennifer Chait of Tree Hugging Family has some very good posts on Trash Audits. By using the information posted there, you can start eliminating much of the trash you are throwing away. You might learn new ways to recycle the paper and plastic that is coming in your medications and supplies.

You are on your way!

Now you are on your way to becoming ‘greener’. But, don’t stop with your medication packages and supplies. Why not take a look at your diet? Since you need to watch your diet, take this as a huge opportunity to eat sustainable foods. By buying and eating locally grown foods, especially those that are in season, you are helping the enviroment. This helps an area become more sustainable. One of my favorite sites on eating and shopping for sustainable foods is Sustainable Table .

This site has an excellent page on why you should think and buy sustainable. When people ask me about sustainability and organics, I send them here. Introduction and Why.

More vitamins, more minerals, and excellent taste. Really, I do not think there is a reason to not buy/eat/live sustainably. Eating well is a number one concern for diabetics, so why not give sustainable foods a try?

Hey, drop me a line.

I would love to hear your thoughts on being a Green Diabetic. Or Green Caregiver. Or Green Giant. Share!

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2 Responses to “Get Green, Diabetics!”
  1. You’re very welcome. Thanks for linking to the exact post and the compliment. Prescription bottles are such a waste, maybe they can be forced to make them from recyclable material.

  2. Jennifer says:

    One, thanks for the link love. Two, I did a post on recycling prescription bottles once, um
    Also, this was a great post. It’s something I never thought of; likely because I’m lucky enough to not need meds, but it’s such a great topic because so many people have many bottles laying around. Excellent post – will have to link you.

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