Or Sort-Of Green

If you look back at yesterday's post, you'll see pictures of the unwrapping of my daughter's new pump.  The excitement was akin to Christmas morning, with bubble wrap flying and packaging strewn around the living room.  The shiny new pump, with no scratches or faded buttons was exciting to discover.  Most importantly, it was green!

It's packaging, however...not so much.  Strikingly out of proportion to its contents, it reminded me of a girl scout project our troop did last year in which they each had to bring in an example of excessive packaging. 

Granted, I'll take it all apart, recycle the cardboard, paper, and what plastic our town will collect.  The school librarian just asked for boxes, so I'll send that in for re-use. Yet, as my girl scouts learned, not using the materials at all is even better than recycling them responsibly.

It's part of a lingering concern I have.  The amount of trash diabetes generates in our household is enormous.  Infusion sets and their big plastic inserters, cartridges, tubing, wipes and their wrappers, lancets and their caps, test strips and their containers, insulin bottles, juice boxes, and the packages all of these things come in need to be disposed of.  Very little of this is recyclable, particularly because so much of it is medical waste. 

I hear Omnipod has program to return and recycle old pods, which is great.  I hope other companies will find ways to follow suit.  Until then, there are occasional ways to repurpose things. I've heard of people using their old insulin tubing to tie up their tomato plants.  When my daughter was little and had a play kitchen, we turned test strip vials into spice containers.  Her creations were extremely flavorful. Last spring, she used lancet caps as eyeballs for a school project.  Every package I send goes off in a pump supply box.

Obviously, the value of these supplies to my daughter's health unquestionably outweighs the environmental concern.  Therefore it becomes a matter of finding ways to dispose of them or repurpose them as best we can. Meanwhile, we can ask our supply companies to keep looking for packaging that's a bit...greener.


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