Medicine Cabinets fall into the realm of perpetual status quo. We rarely clean them out, if at all, and they are almost always overlooked by people who do "spring cleaning" around the house.
The FIRST reason to "ReTweak" your medicine cabinet is to save you money and assist with your well being because…
Medicine Cabinets are the worst place to keep your medication!
A bathroom is plagued with wide temperature changes and moisture from hot showers to exhaust fans. From hair dryers to turning up the heat. Every time you open your medication or don't close the bottle tightly, moisture will get in and on your pills. Temperature change and moisture will degrade the life of your medications, causing them to crack, crumble, and lose their potency.
The best location for all medication is in a locked drawer, perhaps your nightstand next to your bed or a drawer behind an out-of-reach cabinet door, such as in the kitchen. Locked drawer and Out-Of-Reach are key for children's safety.
The SECOND reason will again assist with your health and help protect our world's environment because we must…
Properly discard all Expired Medicines!
Medicine Cabinets seem to collect and maintain items from years gone by. From old razor blades to unlabeled items that we don't even remember why they were used. When my Grandfather passed-over, I helped clean out his medicine cabinet. I found a glass bottle with a 1940 pharmaceutical prescription label. There was still liquid inside and the label stated, Methyl Salicylate. What in the world was this? How do I dispose of something I was unfamiliar with and didn't know? After some research, I discovered that the clear liquid was used as an external counter-irritant medication. To soothe a cut or relieve an itch from an insect's bite. The liquid is also known as Winter Green oil, something obtained by distillation from wintergreen plants since 1843. HOWEVER, if ingested this liquid can cause death.
Today methyl salicylate is an ingredient in muscle-pain relief topical products. Over application, especially with children, is very dangerous. A seventeen-year-old student of Notre Dame Academy died in 2007 from her body absorbing methyl salicylate after excessive use of a muscle pain relief cream.
Contact your local S.T.O.P. program or town recycling facility. Ask How, Where, and When, they are collecting expired medications. DO NOT POUR liquids down the drain and DO NOT THROW OUT any pills or creams. One way or another those chemicals and medication will find their way into our Waterways and our Drinking Water supply!
To learn more about this fact, consider our Water Workshop to save Money, Health, and our clean water!
Remove all labels from your medication, tear the paper up and recycle. This must be done today just to help protect yourself from Identity Theft. Then recycle any empty plastic bottles.
After your medicine cabinet has been cleaned out, I am sure you will have extra space inside. So here is another helpful accomplishment…
Place all Toothbrushes inside the Medicine Cabinet!
Every household that keeps their toothbrushes on the sink or countertop should move these toothbrushes into the medicine cabinet for better health. As you know, smells and aromas travel through the air in a room by the process of Diffusion. Bacteria will also travel through the air molecules and land on your toothbrush. The source of this bacteria can be from a sneeze or a flushed toilet when the cover is up. So put the lid down before flushing and keep your toothbrushes in a closed medicine cabinet, because just as the smell of Number 2 travels, so will bacteria.
Bill Lauto, at Going True Green
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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