Archive for the "medical" category

How can I reuse or recycle contact lenses?

We’ve had an email from Dean:

I have just had my eyes lasered and need a suggestion of where I can send unused trueye contact lenses? Also have some monthly disposables and two pairs of glasses?

Glasses – spectacles – are quite widely collected for recycling/reusing overseas — a lot of opticians have collection bins and some charity shops do too (Help the Ages, for example). Contact lens containers are also useful little things – eg, use them for carrying little amounts of salt, pepper or other seasonings on camping trips.

But what about the contact lenses themselves? Does anywhere collect them for redistribution overseas or anything?

Any suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle talc/talcum powder?

We’ve had an email from Anna:

Hi! I’ve just been reading how bad talc is (oh my god it’s bad!) and no longer want to use it on my body. Is there anything I can do with it instead?

I’m not an expert on talc – I’ve not used it for years anyway so not read up on it much – but from a brief Googling around now, it seems the main problems with it are an increased cancer risk (most notably ovarian cancer, often but not always related to the application of talc around the genitals) and pulmonary issues related to inhalation. The inhalation thing may limit the potential reuses – but does anyone know of any?

How can I reuse or recycle diaphragms?

Cor, it’s been a busy week here on Recycle This – giveaways for washable pads, a Mooncup, Jam Sponges and Fairtrade condoms!

It’s nearly time to bring our women’s & sexual health week to a close though but I had one more “how can I recycle this?” query before we finish: how can I reuse or recycle diaphragms?

Latex rubber diaphragms degrade over time so should be replaced every couple of years. They need replacing even quicker if they come into contact with any oil-based lubricants. Silicone ones last longer (up to 10 years in some cases) but still need replacing eventually.

They also need replacing if the woman’s weight fluctuates up or down by 10lb (4.5 kg), or if she experiences a pregnancy lasting 14 weeks or longer.

Between one thing and another, we’re not talking about the type of waste associated with more disposable forms of contraception but there will still be a lot hitting end-of-life with the easiest option to be dumped into landfill. But is there anything else that can be done with them?

And what about their cases?

Fairtrade (and vegan) condoms giveaway!

For our final giveaway of the week, we’re moving on from sanitary products to condoms – sustainable, fairtrade condoms from French Letter.

Earlier today we started discussing which contraceptive methods are best for the environment but in certain situations, condoms are the only option – they’re the only contraception that protects against STIs.

French Letter condoms are made from latex sourced through FairDeal Trading, paying a Fairtrade premium for latex rubber: we often think about Fairtrade food items but not so much other things. The price premium paid through FairDeal Trading is used not only to pay fairer wages but also to provide a better working environment for those on the rubber plantations and better education opportunities for the workers’ children.

The rubber supply is sustainable too – from plantations certified by the FSC – and unlike most condoms which include milk extracts, they don’t contain any animal products or derivatives so are suitable for use by vegans.

We’ve got two packs of condoms to give away – their Aphrodisiac selection — ooh scented!

As with the washable pads, the Mooncup and the Jam Sponges, if you want to be in with a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below (doesn’t have to be much – just “hi” will do, or “if I was designed condoms scents, they’d all be banana or sausage…”) before noon (GMT) on Monday 15th March. I’ll pick two winners at random after that.

(Don’t forget to leave your email address in the email address field – it won’t appear on the website but allows me to contact you if you win.)

UPDATE – Monday 15th March 2010

Wow! Loads of responses! Thanks to everyone who entered. Our lucky winners are…

Gary Hughes and Elizabeth Burton. I’ll be in touch with you both soon to get your address.

Thanks again to French Letter for supplying the condoms – and showing us all that Fairtrade doesn’t just apply to things you put in your mouth food. ;)

Jam sponge – sponge tampon – giveaway!

In honour of International Women’s Day on Monday, we’re having a week of women’s health and sexual health themed posts here on Recycle This – with lots of related giveaways.

It’s great having so many wonderful things to give away – the range of green, reusable sanitary products available these days is amazing — really something for everyone, whether you’re a pad user or want something inside instead.

There is a quite a lot of buzz around menstrual cups – like the Mooncup we’re giving away – at the moment but chatter about menstrual sponges isn’t quite so common – which is a shame because they’re a great natural option and these ones we’ve got to give away? BEST. NAME. EVER.

Jam Sponges are natural, unbleached sea sponges, sustainably harvested from the Mediterranean Ocean and used a bit like tampons – inserted into the vagina, they soak up menstrual fluid before it has a chance to escape into the wild. Unlike tampons though, they’re chemical-free, won’t cause Toxic Shock Syndrome and won’t cause a giant pile of landfill/block sewers. Treated with care, each sponge will last a year and is fully biodegradable so can compost when you’re done with it.

Plus – PLUS – they come with a shiny bag to keep the spare in AND a badge. (Do take the badge off the sponge before inserting ;) )

We’ve got two sets of these fab things to give away – again, they’re courtesy of the lovely Rachael at Moon Times. Just leave a comment below (doesn’t have to be long – “hi” or “jam sponge? hahahaha, that’s fantastic – puntastic!” will do ;) ) before noon (GMT) on Monday 15th March and I’ll pick a winner at random.

I’m happy to ship internationally and remember to leave your email address in the email address field – it won’t be published on the site but let’s me get in touch with you if you win.

UPDATE – Monday 15th 2010

Thanks to everyone who entered. Our lucky winners are…

urban craft and Rachel! I’ll be in touch with you guys soon to get your addresses.

Thanks again to Rachael at Moon Times for providing the sponges – a great green alternative.