How can one achieve being a "Green" Diabetic?

I am just throwing this one out there. With todays time and age focusing on the enviroment and being green, how does that affect us as being diabetics? Or does it even affect us at all? Maybe the way we eat or how we use transportation to go to all our Doctors appointments. I am curious on everyones thoughts and ideas.

I just started taking shots 2 months ago and it shocked me how many needles, strips, packaging, etc. I have to toss every day!! I thought I was doing a fair job of being “green,” but now I simply try to remain mindful. I went camping for the first time last week and I threw all my needles into the campfire every day. It was extremely satisfying to say the least. . . muttering “Burn motherf’er, BURN!!!”

Jeff I honestly think the ONLY way we can be “green” is to eat only green foods. There is NO WAY we can be “green” any other way b/c we have like you said, to go to the drs and even with doing the pump I have soooo much trash that in my eyes I can’t ever see me going “green” HA!! If anyone else has any idea please let me know!

I have found that I can eat whole grains (oats, rye, buckwheat) and pulses (peas and lentils) when I sprout them for a couple of days. I also sprout sunflowers and the usual alfalfa, clover, cabbage greens. Those take 4-10 days. So I grow a lot of my own food. I think that is pretty green- no transportation costs for the food, except for the seeds.

We start buying carbon credits to offset our plastic syringes with metal needles. We recycle our glass insulin bottles and we take the bus to the doctor because anybody with diabetes goes to the doctor more than the average person!!! Maybe we try to get alcohol swabs made from ethanol and most diabetics are already re-using their lancets hundreds of times before throwing them out-that should count for something!!!
I know I am being sarcastic and or funny with the topic at hand. I would agree that being diabetic creates a lot of waste unfortunately. The best way is to work harder in other areas to help off set the non-green products we diabetics use.

This is one of the reasons I’m holding off on the omnipod. I already produce so much waste that the thought of adding electronic circuitry to the trash heap every few days pains me. Especially since I’m getting a CGMS and will have to deal with discarding sensors.

I use canvas shopping bags and my husband’s car is a hybrid, but otherwise, I’m afraid that seafoam or teal are about the closest I can claim. :slight_smile: The medical industry, with its need for all tubes, needles, and medications to be sterile (and therefore individually packaged), has a long, long way to go. If I had the answer, I’d be rich. In the meantime, I just try to be green elsewhere in my life. A diabetic leaves a hefty carbo(hydrate)n footprint, no?

I have been diabetic since 1987.

I took 3 shots/day up till Jan 2007. Now I am on a pump. however here are some ways I cut down on waste and saved $$$.

  1. Reuse needles. My doctor said unless I was sharing needles (he was joking), and I was swabbing the site and vial of insulin, there was no reason NOT TO be reusing the needle. That is to say, REUSE YOUR NEEDLES.

I probably went to the extreme (mostly out of laziness) but I used (1) needle for like a month (probably more, honestly)! No kidding. Basically, I kept it till it was difficult to puncture the skin. I mean, it wasn’t that hard to pierce the skin, but after awhile it got a bit dull I suppose. I never had any issues with infection or redness at the site, etc… as a result of reusing needels. Experiment and see what happens. Think about it. You change needles 1x/2months, that’s 6 needles a YEAR! Better than 6 NEEDLES every 2 days!

  1. same thing with testing sugar. I got a new meter back in May(?) and I haven’t changed the lancet more tha 2x, and one of those was because my co worker wanted to test her sugar…I don’t even swab my finger most of the time. Of course, I don’t clean toilets for a living so…use your judgement and keep your hands clean.

I have even started trying to recylce insulin vial…

Any advice on how to get the cap off would be appreciated. I tried one (2 weeks ago) but the rubber stopper fell into the vial.


It’s not easy being teal! Love that! I will think of you, Melissa, everytime I bring home groceries in my canvas bags.

Well, depending on your committment level, you can always go back to boiling glass syringes every day and using tes tape to check your urine— that was a paper that bio degrades…LOL

Honestly, I have no issues with what I use. Why feel guilty about something that just is what it is. You probably will leave less carbon footprints (bogus terminology in my mind…do we leave oxygen footprints when we plant a tree?)in your bathroom garbage can then you would with a carbon trail leading to and from the e.r. room…
unless you ride your bike…lol The diesel ambulance they pick you up in gets bad gas mileage so stay in control so they don’t have to come get you…ha ha
For me, it’s a non issue. I have a whole lot of other ways to impact the world positively.
If it makes you feel better,
go plant a tree or two in your yard,
ride your bike to work,
turn off your air conditioner in your house,
turn down your water heater,
turn off all the lights when you aren’t around and only use 40 watt bulbs,
don’t run your heater in the winter,
make sure you pay to take all your burned out compact fluorescent bulbs to an approved processing center because of their mercury content and dont throw them in your garbage, (ps. I have a friend with an insurance driven clean up company who had a client call because she broke a compact fluorescet bulb in her home and if he followed the epa protocol, it was about 800 dollars to clean up her home)
recap your vehicle tires …don’t buy new ones,
inflate and check your tires monthly,
drive 55,
crush your old vehicle when you buy your Prius…dont sell the old one cause it will still be out there cranking out carbon…
leave for work 1 hour earlier so as not to be sitting in traffic burning additional fuel…
spend the thousands of dollars it costs to put solar panels on your roof(by the way, an old neighboring facility use to make solar panels for about 15 years and is still a toxic waste dump.20 years later…the dangerous heavy metals and chemicals they use are very toxic to the environment.)
Use a manual push mower instead of a gasline powered mower,
they still make manual edgers
use a push broom instead of a blower.
Don’t buy a big screen t.v. buy a 13 or 17 inch one.
Walk to the grocery store …don’t drive.
Cell phones create a lot of debris and battery waste…and the towers they use demand a lot of power and land usage…don’t own one …use the land line.
eat less so you pollute less…lol
I’m guessing you are getting the tone of this…Your diabetes supplies are almost nothing compared to things you really could do that would actually make a difference in the world,if you wanted to…but don’t.
Don’t stress or feel guilty about having tight management and what it takes to do so.
If you really do feel guilty…which you shouldn’t-(green is the media flavor of the month) do something that you really can…don’t fool yourself, a bottle of “green” window cleaner (we use to just use vinegar and water) means nothing when you are running the air conditioner or heater in your house. Once you have completed the list above, then you can start to be concerned about your diabetes supplies…
No worries…
(Oh boy, I’m probably gonna take some rocks for this one…) :slight_smile: Oh well, I gotta be honest and I gotta keep it real…Bob

One little thing I am doing is hanging my washing on a line outside instead of using the dryer. It saves a lot of propane and it smells really nice. For the winter, I have a drying rack that is on a pulley so you put it up near the ceiling out of the way. By the way, my husband drives a Prius and we did spend over $20,000 on solar panels when we built our house last year and get nearly all our heat and hot water from the sun. Might not be cost effective for us but we’re guessing the re-sale value of our house will be pretty good, given the cost of fuel right now. In a few years we’re planning on building again to be completely off the grid.

be the frog

When our water heater died this winter, we bought a heat-on-demand model that is pretty nice. Between my husband and myself, we take each of our cars out about once a week to do the grocery shopping.
I have a question though - is building a new home green in and of itself? It seems like the new homes going up nearby are big and expensive to heat/cool, etc, plus the process of building takes electricity, gas, and potentially un-green materials. There are so many inexpensive homes out there right now unless you live somewhere that has a housing shortage, wouldn’t it be better to refurbish an already-built home? Just curious what your thoughts are - once my husband and I decide to start a family, we’ll have to move or build and we’re not sure which direction to go.

The problem with existing homes is that they are not energy efficient. It is almost impossible to fix the problems and much more expensive. We looked at a lot of homes and the lack of insulation, siting on the lot (should be south to use the solar energy) and smaller windows make it impossible to convert an existing home into a super energy-efficient one. Adding solar panels to an existing home requires tearing into the roof and walls and re-doing all the plumbing. We have radiant floor heat, embedded in concrete floors, which is way more efficient than placing the heating tubes under an existing wood floor. The structure of our house is insulated concrete forms (ICF) which results in a very high R value and gives you a completely dry, usable basement so that you can have a smaller footprint. It does cost a bit more to build but our fuel costs are tiny compared to an older home, even without the solar panels. Out home should last for ever, and not need repairs or re-fitting, so the energy costs of building are more than offset by the savings in fuel costs over the years.

I too think of my carbon footprint when I’m throwing the tubes, syringes, packaging away however I also would rather have slightly more packaging than get MRSA. I also tried to avoid buying food with lots of packaging, but sometimes those 15g carb 100 cal packs or juice boxes (for lows) are just too convienient.
I’ve always tried to live green- I’ve been using canvas grocery bags since I started buying groceries myself- about 6 years ago. I didn’t have a car in college, but now I do. Even though I have a car, I take the subway to work and the bus to doctor’s appointments (its nice living about 4 miles from the Joslin :-)). I rarely use my air conditioner, but I find my BS numbers getting screwy if its too hot, so unfortunately, the past two summers have lead to increased AC. I actually love sweaters so I usually keep the heat around 64 in the winter. I keep a foldable shopping bag in my purse for all the small errands.
I’ve been trying to reduce the meat in my diet as well. No more than one serving a day. Its better for the environment and my health.
Yes, I use more plastic and packaging and stuff, but I try to off set that by being very conscious of the other ways to make a difference.

Maybe my thought was more cuz all the new building I see is for $300,000 plus homes with 2000 square feet and cathedral ceilings. Sounds like your new place will be crazy efficient. Good for you guys!
We live in an approximately 900 square foot ranch built in the 1960s. It’s on a slab and we probably won’t be able to upgrade it a great deal as a result (the neighborhood is on shale ground so it’s hard to put in a basement). The upside is that we’ve done a really nice garden this year and since it’s so close to everything we do already (less than 5 miles to work for both of us), we’re really reluctant to leave it even though it’s really small and doesn’t have every last thing we want in a house. Weighing options is tricky…