Earth Day is one of the largest civic events in the world and is celebrated around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a billion people participate in “green” activities every year to honor Mother Earth.
Wondering how you can get involved? You can always reduce, recycle, renew, reuse. But did you know that there are ways, specific to those with hearing loss, to go green? Here are some suggestions:
- Take care of your hearing aids- proper cleaning and care of your hearing devices will prevent you from having to replace them more often than every three to five years.
- Purchase custom hearing protection- Instead of the disposable ear plugs that can be purchased at your local pharmacy, invest in custom ear plugs that will fit well and last a long a time.
- Donate or sell your old devices- instead of throwing them in the trash, you may be able to find someone else who could use your old hearing aids. Find out more by reading our previous post about this.
- Hearing devices and their batteries often come packaged in boxes with cardboard backing, shrink wrap, plastic shields, etc. Make sure you dispose of the recyclable materials properly.
Every day can be Earth Day. Commit to protecting our beautiful planet year-round.
My patients ask me on a daily basis what they should do with their unwanted, used hearing aids. I always advise them to keep one set of devices to use as a back-up, in case something happens to their most current devices or if their current hearing aids need to be sent out for repair.
I’ve been asked by many patients whether or not they can be given to others to use. While this may seem like a good option, be aware that not all hearing aids are suited to fit all types of hearing loss. Just like with eyeglasses, the prescription in hearing devices is set specifically for you. If do you choose to donate them to someone, be sure that person is evaluated by an Audiologist and has the devices set to their specific needs. This may require additional fees/costs.
If your devices are newer, you may be able to sell them through websites such as e-Bay or Craigslist. Just be sure to make sure this is legal in your community. Some states prohibit you selling hearing devices on your own.
Another great option available is to give these devices away to someone who is in need of them. There are organizations that specialize in collecting used hearing devices, refurbishing them to the best of their ability and distributing them to people who would benefit from them but simply cannot afford them.
In the United States, organizations that specialize in the charity collection and redistribution of hearing aids include:
• Hear Now by the Starkey Foundation
• Worldwide Hearing