Upcycling Asthma Supplies

I recently stepped on a lost inhaler cap that had somehow migrated to the middle of the bedroom floor. It felt about as good as stepping on a Lego or other similar small toy. This sent me on a bit of cleaning frenzy. It seemed like every drawer I opened revealed more empty medication boxes or bottles or caps to inhalers that had long since puffed their last.

This inspired a conversation with my fellow contributor, Kerri about how I might repurpose all the inhaler caps. At one point, we tossed out the idea of playing milk caps or "POGs” with inhaler caps. Who knows we might have to get together a POGs: asthma edition showdown at the next Health Union Connexion conference.

What to do with empty asthma supplies?

I've considered trying to do some kind of art project with a year's worth of empty medication containers. I think you could put together a really cool mosaic with inhaler caps or empty nebulizer ampules. I'm not sure that I personally could make much of a visually interesting mosaic since I would have one or two inhaler cap colors in my palette. I just tossed all the caps I found. Maybe next time I remember to clean out all the nooks and crannies I'll make some art with the caps.

If history is any indication I will again neglect to toss caps as I use up inhalers and find a stash of them in a few months or years. I am fairly good about remembering to dispose of my empty inhalers. When I'm on top of it I take empty inhalers to a special inhaler recycling container at the pharmacy. Otherwise, I can recycle the actuator (plastic piece) and cap with the regular collection. The inhaler canisters go into the trash bin, since my community doesn't incinerate its waste. Check with your local waste management provider to see how you should dispose of your empties.

Artwork, unique wind chimes, or the trash can?

I seem to have no shortage of things to do with empty pill bottles especially since I most of my medications come via mail order which have larger 90-day supply bottles. They are just the right size for holding all kinds of household odds and ends. Anything from an emergency fixes sewing kit, to change for the parking meter, to assorted hardware, or keeping all those spare buttons that come sewn into new clothes.

I bet I could make a pretty unique wind chime by putting some holes in assorted empty inhalers and pill bottles after painting, bedazzling, or otherwise decorating. I’m just not sure I want to be that loud and proud of my asthma to anyone who wanders by my home. It would be a statement piece for sure.

I would describe my style as understated, not so bold. If I decide to make art out of medication parts I better work on my POGs skills. I can then hope to expand my color pallet of inhaler caps by playing for keeps. Have you done crafts or made art out of empty medication containers? Or will you be joining me in putting empties out with the rest of your garbage?


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