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How to be more eco-friendly

Diabetes is by no means easy on the planet. It generates a lot of waste, e.g., used lancets, product packaging and unused medications. That said, why not limit the damage by adopting more responsible practices in your everyday life? Here are a few easy tips to get started!

  1. Give pill bottles a second life. Most are recyclable, but plastic number 6 sometimes isn’t (you’ll find this number on the bottom of the bottle, outlined by a recycling triangle). Another option: your empty containers are perfect for storing cotton swabs, loose change and other small items that may be lying around!
  2. Help those less fortunate. Do you have items in good condition gathering dust in the closet or in the garage? Pass them on by placing them in a diabetes helping agency bin! This is a great way to do some cleaning and make someone’s day! You can locate drop boxes here or here.
  3. Properly dispose of your products. First, instead of throwing out unused pills and medications, return them to the pharmacy, where they will be destroyed correctly. Second, be sure to properly store your used lancets and needles by using biohazard containers, which are provided free of charge at most pharmacies and clinics.
  4. Donate diabetes equipment. The organization Insulin for Life Canada collects insulin, strips and insulin pens for redistribution in developing countries (everything must be in its original packaging). It’s a great way to get rid of excess products—for example, if you don’t think you’ll be able to use them before they expire—while helping out the people who need it the most.

These four tips are only the beginning. There are many other ways for you to protect the environment, whether it be by recycling more or by choosing eco-friendly products. It’s your move!

References:
Canadian Diabetes Association, “Donate Now”: http://www.diabetes.ca/how-you-can-help/donate-now. Accessed January 27, 2016.
Diabetes Québec, “Throwing away needles”: http://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/living-with-diabetes/care-and-treatment/self-control/throwing-away-needles. Accessed January 27, 2016.
Government of Canada, “Safe disposal of prescription drugs”: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/safe-disposal-prescription-drugs.html?_ga=1.196071274.772686436.1454598316. Accessed January 27, 2016.
Canadian Consumer Handbook, “Responsible Product Disposal”: http://www.consumerhandbook.ca/en/topics/environment/responsible-product-disposal. Accessed January 27, 2016.
La vie en vert, “Flacons vides de médicaments”: http://vieenvert.telequebec.tv/sujets/585/flacons-vides-de-medicaments. Accessed January 27, 2016.
Roche, “Happy Earth Day! 7 Ways Living with Diabetes Can Be Eco-Friendly”: http://www.accu-chekdiabeteslink.com/happy-earth-day-7-ways-living-with-diabetes-can-be-ecofriendly.html. Accessed January 27, 2016.

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