I’m headed to the hospital in a couple of days for a minor thing, and it got me thinking about ways to reduce my impact while I’m there. Since I’ll be spending a couple of nights there, I thought I’d do a little research and pack some supplies!

The last time I visited a family member in hospital, I was struck by how many disposables they used. I know that it’s important to keep things sterile, but I’m talking about things like personal grooming. Rather than give her a sponge bath, for example, they gave her individually wrapped wipes that were pre-soaked in some sort of chemical. I was thrilled to learn that many new hospitals are focusing on sustainability. Maybe practices like those disposable wipes are on the way out? In the meantime, you can reduce your impact with just a bit of planning!

It turns out I’m not the only one that has this topic on her mind! Over at Eco Child’s Play, Jennifer Lance has some great tips for greening your kiddo’s trip to the hospital. A lot of her tips, like bringing your own organic food and your own beauty supplies would apply to an adult’s visit, too! I definitely plan to pack some healthy food in reusable containers! Here’s a list of the accessories that might be nice to have on hand:

  • Reusable wash cloths and a bar of eco-friendly soap.
  • A trusty deodorant.
  • A bottle of home made perfume (aka 40 drops of essential oil in a 2oz spritz bottle of rubbing alcohol).
  • A bottle of hand lotion.
  • Your own toothpaste and toothbrush.

For a longer stay, you’d probably want to pack shampoo and conditioner. If you can’t shower because you have stitches or a cast that needs to stay dry, maybe a dry shampoo would be a good idea?

You can also bring a reusable water bottle, rather than use disposable or plastic cups, and I love Jennifer’s idea of taking your recycling with you when you go! What are some other things you guys would bring or do to reduce your waste while you’re on the mend?

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by jreed.