When it comes to medical products such as bandages and gauze, people don’t often think of going green. You wouldn’t believe it, but most medical products contain hazardous chemicals and other materials, which end up in landfills and are bad for the environment. The oddest part is that some of the chemicals that people are exposed to through medical products can actually cause them to become sick in other ways than they may already be. One medical doctor commented that there are over 80,000 chemicals used today in the medical industry and a very small number of them have been tested for their safety in humans and for the environment.
Part of the problem with medical products is that they need to be sterilized before or after use, depending on the product. Purchasing products that were created in a sterile factory or products that only require steam sterilization are the best way to purchase these products. Many medical products are sterilized with chemicals. Chemical sterilization is terrible for the environment and totally negates the fact that you just bought 10 million organic cotton balls or bandages.
The chemicals used to sterilize end up being thrown out in the trash with everything else and can be hazardous to the environment. There has not been much testing done on these chemicals. No one really knows if these chemicals cause humans harm if they get into water supplies. Make a conscious effort to purchase sterile items that have been created in a sterile environment.
There are many different types of bandages like Tegaderm that have been created in a sterile environment. Not only that, but some bandages are made to biodegrade faster than others. While that may not sound like the optimal situation for bandages and wound healing, it actually does not make a difference as far as wound healing is concerned.
Purchasing eco-friendly products for your medical office can also be used as a marketing tactic. You can earn well and reduce your carbon footprint easily. Put up some signs that tell people that your office has gone green. Make sure that patients know that you are concerned about their welfare as well as that of the planets. You can hang some informational posters about how medical waste can be bad for human and ecological health.
You should also put this information up on your website, billboard, and any other methods of marketing or advertising that you currently use. The younger generations have become progressively more aware of terms like carbon footprint when compared to older generations that were never really exposed to these terms when they were younger. This is a great way to get new, younger customers in the door and keep them for life.
There are all kinds of products out there for purchase to support this cause. There are even compostable bandages. Imagine telling a patient, “when you take your bandage off, you can put it into your compost mix.” They will be flabberghasted and likely excited to hear the news. Some biodegradable bandages even help to initiate skin growth and wound healing.
There is a group at Penn State that is making a biodegradable ‘ouchless’ bandaid. They are also making toilet paper. The group takes starch fibers and spins them into even longer fibers to create a product that is similar to paper. The bandaid would be ‘ouchless’ because it simply dissolves over time as the wound heals. There is no removing adhesive that has stuck to the small hairs on the skin. This solution is great for kids or for older people with thinning layers of skin.
Biodegradable medical products should be seriously considered especially if you are trying to get new customers in the door of your medical practice. People today appreciate it when businesses work to save the earth. You will be likely to encourage others to do the same as well. Using products that are good for you and good for the planet feels good and is safer for everyone in the long run. Purchase products assembled in a sterile environment. Stay away from chemical sterilization and keep an eye out for new eco-friendly products.