No more band-aid solutions (Day 106)…

band-aid

While ripping open some mail yesterday, I accidentally sliced my finger on a staple (I have no idea why anyone would staple an envelope, but there you go). Anyway, because my brain is now wired to be in constant eco-mode, I was sitting there at my desk, oozing blood, and the first thing I think is, “Ooh — I wonder if there’s some way I can green my first-aid?”

Unfortunately, band-aids come wrapped in unrecyclable wax paper, are attached to disposable peel-off stickies, and are made from mostly plastic, adhesive glue and just a tiny square of bleached cotton.

So I wandered around the maze of cubicles until I found a first-aid kit, which contained a roll of gauze. The only packaging it had was some plain paper on the outside, and while it probably wasn’t organic cotton or anything, it seemed a bit more eco-friendly than the band-aids. I snipped off a segment, twirled it around my finger and just held it there with my thumb until the bleeding stopped.

If it was a major gash, this solution may not have been applicable, but I’m convinced there are other, greener ways to deal with cuts like this — perhaps that liquid you spray on to make them clot right away? Or is that really toxic? I’d use my hankie but I’m worried it’s not sterile enough.

Either way, I’m going to try and avoid band-aids whenever possible. If it’s the only solution available I’ll have to make an exception, but in the mean time, I’m going to have a little pep talk with my platelets.

Image courtesy of these peeps

6 Responses to No more band-aid solutions (Day 106)…

  1. pat farquharson says:

    for small injuries use gauze and micropore adhesive paper tape that doesnt stick to hairs and pull them out.Bind tight to create pressure to stop the bleeding. A lot of people hav allergies to Bandaid adhesive.

  2. keepbreathing says:

    The medical world could use somebody like you to make some changes. The amount of waste we generate is simply astonishing: in the course of one resuscitation, I would estimate that we could fill an entire 20-gallon trash bag with all the used and discarded plastic, syringes, wrappings, papers, and vials that get strewn about. That plus the printer in the RT office where I work spits out a non-reusable redundant second page with every single order, which can mean up to a ream of 500 pages a day being wasted. It’s ridiculous…

    Keep up the good work being green, you’re an inspiration to us all.

    Anonymous Therapist

  3. Lori V. says:

    keepbreathing, I was just thinking the same thing… my hubby is an anesthesiologist, and I think of all the waste (some of it absolutely necessary, I know) that is a by-product of the medical industry in general. I wonder if there have been reports done of that… hmmm…

  4. Rachel says:

    I came across exactly the same thing a couple of days ago, my daughter’s sandal had rubbed a spot raw on her foot, so I busted out the first aid kit in our car, and after just two little bandaids I couldn’t believe the pile of trash I was left with. I came to a similar conclusion as you did- whenever possible gauze and pressure, or maybe gauze and tape if necessary.

  5. Chile says:

    Do be careful not to bind a cut too tightly. Cutting off the circulation to the finger can create bigger problems, as in the child my mom knew that got gangrene from an overly tight bandage.

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