Thursday, May 13, 2010

Taking It to the Box

I'm just about to start working on our upstairs bathroom.  I've been dreading it.  I'm just not ready to face the many, many unused eye shadows, lipsticks, and "free" Clinique makeup bags, but I'll save that for another post. 

One thing in the bathroom that will be quick and relatively easy to take care of is our medicine cabinet.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one guilty of buying medicine and then forgetting about it for 5 years or until the next move (whichever is longer).  I remember a bottle of iodine (I don't even know what people use iodine for, but we had it) in our medicine cabinet growing up, it was there for as long as I can remember—at least 15 years or more.  And it was still there when I was graduating college and my parents were moving.  In fact, I'm going to make a point of checking my parents' medicine cabinet for the iodine the next time I'm at their house.  If it's there, I'm going to toss it.  I bet you they'll never notice.

One thing I think I've finally learned is that just because medicine is sold in economy sizes, which may ultimately make the per-pill or per-ounce price cheaper, doesn't mean I actually need the economy size (unless we're talking Tums and I'm pregnant).  After all, medicine does expire.  And not only does it clutter up your bathroom, it's a hazard for kids, and unused medicine can be dangerous to the environment if not disposed of properly.  But it's not just over-the-counter medicine that's the problem.  I've got leftover prescription drugs from the birth of my first child—she's now fully potty-trained—and I've added a whole new batch of the exact same meds from the birth of my second child. 

What's a safe way to get rid of all this excess?  The federal government suggests the following:
  1. Check for a local collection program.
  2. Check with your pharmacy.
  3. Follow the federal guidelines for prescription drug disposal.
Luckily for me, our community has a collection program for prescription and over-the-counter medicine.  So tomorrow (or sometime in the near future), I'll be packing up the reminders of our previous pain and suffering and taking it down to the drop box at our local police station.  And they will dispose of it for me.  I like that!

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