With so much of the Earth’s surface taken up by water, it’s hardly surprising that mankind’s research covers less than five per cent of our oceans. There’s a lot of mysteries down there and although we know of around 228,450 different species in the deep, it is thought that as many as two million more are yet to be identified. So next time somebody tells you they believe in mermaids, just remember that figure!
As an ostomate, and a human being, I have always felt the need to be respectful to my surroundings, and while I don’t claim to be perfect, I do try to be mindful of my impact.
Reports suggest that up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, and I’ve been busy looking for ways to lessen (if not eliminate) my contribution to that.
So what are our greener options?
Below are a few tips I’ve found to help reduce waste when it comes to ostomy care.
When it’s time to change, I bet I’m not the only ileostomate to be lazy and throw out the drainable pouch along with the contents. Rule number one when going green – keep it hygienic and empty the poo first! Also, question whether you need to change your pouch as often as you do, and see if there are environmentally friendly alternatives to your usual wipes, sprays or disposable bags.
I have actually ditched the complimentary disposable bags in a bid to save on plastic waste and have since stocked up on biodegradable alternatives. Biodegradable plastics take around three to six months to decompose fully, whereas synthetic counterparts can take several hundred years.
A common misconception is that we who have mermaid bums (see what I did there!) use far less toilet paper than those who poop the original way, but I find myself using more.
So, I have decided to use my socks… totally kidding! I have been debating the idea of a recycled alternative; if you can put up with its slightly course texture, using a recycled product helps to preserve trees, protect habitat, keep our water clean, and save energy.
Lastly, lets talk about the air we breathe. It’s time to ask: does the typical air freshener truly make your air fresh? Reports suggest the conventional air freshener can give off both primary and secondary air pollutants. Both these types of air pollutants have been proven to contribute to the onset of severe asthma and allergies, so maybe its time to look at ways to freshen one’s lavatory naturally.
Here are some DIY nontoxic air fresheners you might like to try:
- Pure Essential Oil Sprays - very easy to make yourself and depending on what type of oils you use, you can also deter many insects from your home!
- Pomanders - a lemon or an orange that has been pricked with many clove studs. They smell citrusy, warm and are entirely natural.
- Get a snake plant - don’t be put off by the name. The snake plant purifies air by absorbing toxins through the leaves and producing pure oxygen. It was shown that one snake plant can produce up to a sixth of your oxygen supply alone! That means if you were placed in a room without any oxygen, six of these plants should be able to keep you alive… Bear Grylls, eat your heart out!
If you’re interested in flushable alternatives for barrier film and medical adhesive remover wipes, you may like to try Appeel and LBF Hydrosolve Flushable Wipesfrom our sister company, CliniMed.