Could Period pants save the planet?

OK, here I go again with grand claims of planet saving credentials, but I just can’t help myself when I come across a new sustainable solution which makes my life greener AND easier!

For those who have been with me since the beginning of my lazy green journey, you may remember I took the plunge a few years back and switched to using a moon-cup (if you not, you can read ‘Are mooncups just for hippies?’ HERE)

I decided to ditch the pads and tampons after I discovered the staggering fact that an average woman throws away an estimated 100-150kg of feminine products into landfill in her lifetime. That’s a lot of needless toxic waste backfilling planet Earth, for something as natural as about 16 teaspoons (average) of blood! That’s not to mention the incredible amount of toxins which leak into our bodies every time we use tampons. It was a no-brainer for me to switch to something less intrusive on my body and the planet.

After getting over a few hick-ups which made my green bathroom look more like a scene from Carrie – I nailed the technique and me and my cup have been besties ever since. It turns out they aren’t just for hippies, and over the last 3 years it has saved me a shed tonne of money and prevented over 150 additional tampons floating around aimlessly in our oceans.

The future of periods

But this isn’t the end of my eco period journey. A lot has changed in 3 years, and sustainable solutions to menstrual care has turned into an innovative industry. Ladies, we have moved on from seas sponges and make-your-own fabric pads with poppers – I’m talking about beautiful, practical and, dare I say, menstrualy liberating, period undies!!

When I first saw the likes of menstrual guru Claire Baker wearing Thinx period pants this summer I knew I had to get with the times and upgrade my monthly gear. But in the spirit of keeping things local and low carbon I wasn’t sure how I felt supporting an Australian brand.

Ask the periods Goddess and she shall answer: meet WUKA wear, a new UK based company bringing the technology of period pants to our fair land! I had to get my hands on a pair to find out once and for all if these are the future solution for bleeding women across the planet.

The Goddess must have been doing her magic, as the day my pair arrived I started my bleed. As someone who bleeds intermittently (sorry guys I should have warned you at the beginning of this blog, but I guess you should know these things!) it is a rarity to have a period these days.

I put on my pants and prepared myself for potential embarrassing trouser stains and walking like I’d just riden a horse across Europe.

The first thing I noticed was actually how comfy they were. As a size 12 clothing, WUKA sent me a size medium and they fit me well. The soft and stretchy fabric (apparently called Lenzing® MicroModal) is just the kind of comforting undie you want at that time of the month, and I actually barely noticed the absorbent moisture barrier and built in pad that makes it period proof. It certainly didn’t feel like I was carrying a brick between my legs. Nor did it feel like I was bleeding down my leg – dirty smelly hippy credential downgraded!!

Appearance wise, personally for me they won’t win awards for sexiness. They are practical and comfy – the main two things you want during your bleed. The sizing is generous and you feel like everything is safely tucked away but breathable. They are a little low cut though, so if you suffer with cramps or bloating on your lower abdomen I would recommend getting a size up.

Keeping up with the flow

Interestingly WUKA wear can hold at least 20ml of period flow or light leaks – around 4 tampons worth. So, depending on your flow you can wear them up to 8 hours on light days, or 4-6 hours on your heavy days or all night. I had a light to medium bleed whilst wearing these, with one day of heaviness, and not once felt like I was wearing a wet nappy or that I was leaking. Win!

They have two inner layers – a durable, waterproof fabric with antibacterial properties that doesn’t stain, and an absorbent fabric blend – so it felt much more absorbent than just a pad or sponge. And in fact, it was incredibly liberating to free bleed (as nature intended) rather than plugging it with something. This is a controversial thought, as in many cultures the lack of menstrual products is an issue – but I personally love the feeling of bleeding unaccompanied. Though I generally have a light flow so it’s less of an issue for me.

But what do you do with a pair of bloody pants I hear you cry?! Well first, they aren’t as messy as you might imagine. The fabric really is very absorbent. At the end of the day just rinse them in some cold water and pop them on a 40C wash! You will need to allow time to dry naturally (which is good as tumble driers are deffo NOT very eco), though mind took a couple of hours to dry by the heater.

If you have heavier bleeds I would either invest on a couple of pairs or only use them on lighter days.

Verdict

Am I ready to ditch my moon cup bestie completely for the pants? Not quite. Though I surprisingly loved my pair of WUKA and would definitely sport them on the first or last day of my bleed, I still do like being able to collect and engage with my blood. It sounds weird but I can see a lot about my womb, and overall, health by seeing the color and amount I bleed. From an ecological point of view, I also wouldn’t want to do lots of washing if I solely replied on the pants.

But overall my period pants have joined my small but loved lazy green toolkit and I would highly recommend ditching the tampons and pads for good and giving these babies a go!

Try a pair of WUKA

WUKA period underwear currently cost £24.99 including free postage in the UK. This is marginally more than you would pay for something like a mooncup, but I see it as equally good value for the lifetime wear you can get from them. They are FAR cheaper than a lifetime of buying tampons that’s for sure!

 

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How to go Forest Bathing

Yup, you heard right: Forest Bathing. It’s an actual thing, and people are doing it all over the world.

Just the same way you would bathe in water or bathe under the sun, Forest Bathing is the practice of lying, or walking, amongst the trees to enjoy the benefits they bring to your physical and mental wellbeing.

The practice, which originated in Japan (where it is called shinrin-yoku) is actually quite familiar to us. Though it may not have an official name here in the UK, walking in nature  has long been an favourite pastime; with most of us enduring family woodland strolls as children, only to revert back to them eagerly as wildlife loving adults.

And it’s not just a fun day out. Spending dedicated time in the company of trees has been proven to be good for our health. Trees are the Earths original air cleansers; soaking up city pollution, helping to cool increasing urban temperatures, and pumping out fresh new Oxygen which literally keeps us alive. Continue reading How to go Forest Bathing

5 Ways to reuse Easter Egg Plastic Packaging

You did it again didn’t you?

Despite scorning yourself last Easter for not searching out chocolate eggs with eco friendly packaging, you still have a house full of egg shaped plastic moulds lying around the house.

It’s OK. We all do it some time in our lives, and have shared that moment of sheepish guilt as we throw them into the bin come Easter Monday. Continue reading 5 Ways to reuse Easter Egg Plastic Packaging

Is This the Best Vegan Roast in England?

Having travelled the world, and spent many a weekend pining for one, I know from experience that us Brits really do enjoy a traditional Sunday Roast. It’s the cornerstone of family gatherings, and it not only celebrates getting together with loved ones to essentially gorge until we feel sick, it celebrates our seasonal root veggies and greens in all their glory.

All hail the Sunday Roast, and every second of indigestion it gives us! 

But what happens when you move away from the joint of meat to a hearty nut roast? Are Vegan Sunday Roasts as good? Sadly, they are simply quite hard to come by; and when they are, they can often be nothing short of uninspiring. I’ve sat solemnly many a time looking at a plate of roasties and a few blobs of saggy, overcooked veg while friends tuck into all the trimmings. It’s enough to make your weekend a whole disaster!

But, every now and then, you stumble across an establishment who take their vegan roast dinners seriously, and give them the love and attention they so deserve. And when you find these stars, oh how your world lights up!  Continue reading Is This the Best Vegan Roast in England?

Anxiety, Sadness and Deforestation: How the Earth Shifted in 2016

It’s almost the end of 2016 and I can’t help thinking that something really big has just happened. And I don’t just mean Trump, Brexit and the final nail in the coffin for the Great Barrier Reef.

It feels like the ground has shifted beneath my feet, and the sturdy soil I once stood upon has switched colour, texture and smell. It feels as though the ground has literally changed its own reaction to my clunky feet stumbling across it, and I am no longer welcome.

The world around us feels anxious, resentful and fatigued. Meanwhile the Earth itself is warming up (quite literally we know) as though it’s firing up for a fight that we all know it will win (but potentially at the cost of humans in the process). Something big has definitely happened this year, and this shift is only going to continue into 2017.

Can you feel it too? Continue reading Anxiety, Sadness and Deforestation: How the Earth Shifted in 2016

Dear Cafe Scrouge: an open letter from a vegan to Cafe Rouge

Dear Cafe Rouge

I’m sure you will agree that the festive season leading up to Christmas day is a time for family, friends, fun and feasting – something I imagine you hope to host in your national chain of French cuisine restaurants.

Having had a large majority of my family live in the South West of France for the last 29 years – and thus spending the large majority of my childhood holidays there – I am very partial to the French style of eating and its focus on rich, decadent flavours. Hearty bean cassoulet, warming onion soup and wine drenched mushroom bourguignon are some of my favourites; all washed down with a glass of classic Bordeaux.

It may surprise then, if I admit that I haven’t actually visited your restaurant before. In fact, I haven’t even contemplated it. Why? Well, that’s because I am a vegan.  Continue reading Dear Cafe Scrouge: an open letter from a vegan to Cafe Rouge

Which Plant Holds the Most Magical Properties?

I have to confess, I happily align myself to a number of (old school) vegan stereotypes; many of which aren’t particularly cool or (in some cases) particularly flattering. I wear ethical – not fashionable – clothing, I stuff beans and greens in almost every meal I eat, I have cats, love purple and I rave about Hemp and Bamboo in all their many forms whenever the opportunity arises. I’d probably have dreads too, if I wasn’t too lazy to grow my hair long.

However, seemingly unlike the rest of the vegan population at large (and many non-vegans when they discover I boycott cheese…), theres one thing I’m not particularly bothered about obsessing over: nutrition. Now, I don’t mean this in the sense that I don’t care about my health – sure I get plenty of Calcium, B12, blah blah… – but I’m not interested in obsessing over it. And let’s face it, I’m sure neither are half of the vegetarians and meat eaters out there either. Continue reading Which Plant Holds the Most Magical Properties?

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