Q: How Can I Be More Earth-friendly with My Diabetes Supplies?

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Q: How Can I Be More Earth-friendly with My Diabetes Supplies?

Earth day is always a good time to take stock of our lifestyle and habits and see how we can take better care of the world around us. As a person living with diabetes, each aspect of your care regimen is essential to keeping you well. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to manage your diabetes supplies in a more earth-friendly way. 

With a bit of effort and creativity, many of your diabetes supplies (or packaging) can be reduced, reused, or recycled.

Reduce leftover or extra supplies

It’s not uncommon to accumulate an over-abundance of supplies, and it can be a race to beat the expiration dates. Instead of letting stores go to waste, reduce your stash by donating them. Insulin For Life is an incredible organization that will help you get your unused, non-expired supplies to people who need them.

The list of items they accept includes insulin vials, insulin pens, insulin cartridges, syringes, lancets, insulin pump supplies, and more…

Reuse your diabetes supplies in safe and creative ways

It is critical to properly dispose of any medical waste items (i.e., used syringes, lancets, pen needles, etc.). These items are not reusable and do not belong in the regular trash. Earth 911 has a helpful search website to find your nearest sharps waste disposal site. 

Other safe types of waste like containers and bottles can often be upcycled for new uses. If you’re crafty, the options are endless, and there are lots of creative people out there to provide inspiration.  If you are not crafty yourself, perhaps you have a friend or family member who could use those items in their own creations or classrooms.

Recycle the packing your supplies come in

All those boxes, wrapping, bags, and papers are perhaps the easiest way to be earth-friendly. If it’s cardboard or paper, it’s simple to put straight in the recycle bin. 

Looking towards the future

The diabetes community is working on new ways to reduce waste related to diabetes treatment. As awareness and technology advance, there will likely be new ways to be an eco-friendly diabetic in the coming years.

In the meantime, your diabetes educator is a great resource when it comes to your supplies and may be able to connect you with local organizations or programs that can help you in your earth-friendly efforts. 

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