More and more, social media and mainstream news are making people aware of the harm we are doing to the planet. Whether from carbon dioxide or plastic pollution, we have been caught in the act of altering our planet. But many people are providing innovative ways in which we can make positive changes to help reduce the negative impact. Ideas for everyday changes are floating around the internet, but what about some of the more unusual or rare events such as medical emergencies?
When emergency strikes, a first-aid kit is the primary method used to care for patients. Each item needed will come in various forms of packaging, including plastic that then becomes an environmental burden. In addition, some forms of treatments contain chemicals that could be harmful to the environment whether in the immediate surroundings (e.g., the room in which they’re used) or further afield.
Fortunately, there are sustainable options that can be used for minor problems or as temporary measures to prevent more serious injuries escalating:
- Natural antiseptic/antibacterial/sterilisation: tea tree, witch hazel, pine, pure alcohol, saltwater (also called saline)
- Natural soap: horse chestnut leaves
- Using safety pins rather than tape
- Using reusable bandages that can be washed
Temporary measures or wound cleaning can be done using many of the above options. For example, saltwater is good for cleaning wounds, can be used as eye drops/washes and for flushing out nostrils.
While the above options are suitable for minor ailments, major burns etc. should be dealt with by medics as soon as possible. Despite our reliance on many natural remedies for hundreds of years, modern scepticism has resulted in lost faith, particularly where medical emergencies are involved. However, many of us use these resources daily—even many acne treatments are derived from tea tree and witch hazel. Returning to some more natural remedies, of which there are many, could benefit our health as well as that of the planet.
Would you switch to more natural options for your first-aid kit?
Disclaimer: I am not medically trained