Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Waste that Comes with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Let me just start by saying that I am not always the best about being environmentally conscious.  I drive a car built for seven people when generally it is just me in the car, I eat out which creates tons of waste, and I don't recycle everything that I know is recyclable. (The last one is due to my border collie who attacks the recycling container so I have to be cautious about things that can hurt her.) But, the environment and the waste that I contribute to it is definitely something I keep in mind. We keep our house cool in the winter, I open windows whenever I can, I'm constantly turning off lights in the house, I either bring my own grocery bags or go without, every spring I am growing plants around my house, etc. It is something I think is important and something I am always striving to be better at. So, how does rheumatoid arthritis fit into my goals of being environmentally conscious?

It started several months back when I received notice from my insurance that I could no longer get refills on my prescriptions at our local pharmacy.  To be honest, I was happy about this because I don't love our neighborhood chain pharmacy.  I was excited that I would no longer have to worry about picking up my prescription either, it would come via UPS. What I didn't realize is that by receiving prescriptions in the mail, I would be contributing to a whole lot of waste.

First, the prescriptions are over-nighted.which means tons of resources are being used just for me.

Here is the size of my prescription:


The prescription does have to remain cool which explains the reason for so much, but let's continue to what I have experienced the last few months and will be doing again this week.

A regular brown corrugated box arrived.  It is quite large for the prescription above, right?


Once I opened the two boxes, I found this very nice Styrofoam container.


Next, I found my prescription wrapped in bubble wrap and 2-3 ice packs plus many sheets of paper.



Let me just say that I was horrified when I received the first package and then by the time the second arrived, I felt sick to my stomach. Included is one other small bottle tightly wrapped. For the time being,I will be contributing to this waste every single month. Aahhhh!!!  Does anyone else feel guilty? What do you do with all of these materials? Please share ways you reuse, not just recycle.