Is there an eco-friendly pregnancy test?
You don't have to use those heavily packaged drugstore tests.
Sun, Nov 18 2012 at 4:05 PM
Firstly, let me say, more power to you, sister! When I was trying to get pregnant with my children, the last thing I was focused on was being eco-friendly. I bought oodles of drugstore pregnancy tests, ripped off the wrappers, and peed on them so often, it was like I was being paid to do it. I could probably have filled a whole garbage bag full of used pregnancy tests. That’s just how pregnancy goes. You’re so excited to find out as soon as is scientifically possible, and when you do find out you’re pregnant, you take five more tests just to be sure, just to see those two little pink lines as opposed to one. (Well, maybe that’s just me, but I have a hunch it’s not.)
And who can blame me? Getting pregnant is one of the most amazing things that can happen to a woman, or to anyone for that matter. You are creating another human — inside of you! It’s like a crazy sixth-grade science project, except it actually works (unlike my lava-filled volcano, which never quite erupted like it should have).
So is there a more Earth-friendly way to find out you’re with child? Absolutely.
When home pregnancy tests were first developed back in the late 1970s, they included a vial of purified water, an angled mirror, a test tube, and red blood cells from a sheep. Yep, blood cells. From a sheep. Cumbersome as it may seem, those tests were a virtual coup for all those women who didn’t want disapproving doctors or mothers to know there was a possibility of a baby in their future. It was not until a decade later when those tests were replaced with the tests women are so familiar with today.
These tests aren’t exactly eco-friendly, since there’s not much you can do with them afterward besides throw them away. And let’s not forget the packaging. Drugstore tests come encased in heavy-duty plastic wrapping, and are then encased in a box. (If only Cheetos were so hard to open.)
If you think about it, all you really need from that cumbersome wrapping is the little paper strip inside the hard plastic casing itself. If you’ve ever taken a pregnancy test at a hospital or doctor’s office, you know that all they use is a little paper strip that you pee on. And these little paper strips are completely recyclable — unlike the drugstore pregnancy tests.
The best part of it all? These pregnancy tests are only a fraction of the cost of conventional pregnancy tests. You can buy 25 of them on Amazon for a little more than $8, which means you can take a pregnancy test three times a day for a week and not feel bad about it. That’s a winner in my book.
If you’re really ambitious (or frugal), you can even try your own homemade pregnancy test, which can involve peeing on a pile of dandelions, mixing your urine with Pine-Sol or even bleach. Now whether any of those methods really work is another story. Any way you do it though, relish the moment … or two … or 11. It’s one of the most special in all your life!
You can submit a question to Mother Nature, and one of our many experts will track down the answer. Plus: Visit our advice archives to see if your question has already been tackled.
Related eco-friendly family stories on MNN:
- How can I go green for my newborn?
- Eco-friendly toys for toddlers
- Cool, eco-friendly office supplies for teens and adults
Thumbnail photo: Mallu2007/Flickr