Due to a recent stay in the hospital, I haven’t been able to get far with the 100 mile radius food buying experiment. I have made my own cheese and bread and butter, as well as ate locally grown apples and honey, and a few other things, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.
Something I did notice in the hospital, though, (as well as in the doctor’s office when I got out) was a lot of wasted materials, primarily in the form of excess packaging. It got me thinking, how much space in our landfill space is full because of our desire to be more germ-free? Everything was individually wrapped or packaged in there, including a few things which clearly did not need it.
Obviously, I want my doctors and nurses to wear fresh gloves for every patient, that is non-negotiable for me. But couldn’t those tooth sponges come in one big resealable bag instead of 30 tiny disposable ones that have to be glued together? Couldn’t the 2 pill packets of pain reliever be in recyclable packaging?
Honestly, I don’t remember if there was a recycle bin or not, but I doubt if they have them, outside of perhaps the cafeteria. I expect they recycle their cans and feel good about doing their part, all the while chucking mountains of plastic by the hour.
But I can’t really blame the medical industry, can I? It’s us. It’s our germ-phobic demand for 2000% sanitization, even when not necessary. I suppose I could blame the media for perpetuating our fear of germs, or possibly (probably?) advertising agencies, but it comes down to us. Always, it comes down to us.
We are the consumers. We are the ones making the choice. We can continue to let advertising and sensational news affect what we buy and let it lead us away from what’s best for the planet - or we can take a stand and use our money to fight for what we believe in, for the planet we live on.