Category Archives: Sustainability

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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Find your tribe and save the planet

Ok. I recognise this is a rather bold statement, and perhaps more than a little hasty. But before you judge, let me explain…. Continue reading Find your tribe and save the planet

Is Toilet Roll Giving us a Bum Deal?

Toilet roll. The essential item on our shopping lists, and one of the only things we spent hundreds of pounds on a year, only to intentionally throw it away! We use it several times a day – more often if you’re a vegan, lets face it – and an empty loo roll holder instills a frantic panic amongst the best of us, leading to a feeble cry of helplessness: “what do I use now?!” It’s an underrated champion for something so simple, yet most of feel that we couldn’t live without it!

And it’s not just our delicate regions which require the trusty toilet roll. From blowing noses, wiping dirty children faces and removing last nights make up, to using it in lieu of kitchen roll (yes, hands up, I have been known to do that!) it’s estimated that an average person uses at least 30 rolls (or approx 39 lbs) of toilet roll every year. Seem’s a small price to pay to make our bums, faces and…ummm…kitchens happy, right?  Continue reading Is Toilet Roll Giving us a Bum Deal?

How MONA Art Gallery is Connecting Science, Nature and Sustainability

Art has the power to inspire both creativity and intellectual debate. It can help us to question or make sense of the world around us through its motives and messages, or generate a feeling of awe and intrigue simply through the ascetics of a piece.

On a recent trip to the quirky and somewhat morbid art gallery of MONA, in Hobart, I was lucky enough to encounter an exhibition which engaged all of my senses; whilst carrying a fascinating narrative of science, nature and sustainability.  Continue reading How MONA Art Gallery is Connecting Science, Nature and Sustainability

20 Facts & Stats Inspiring Us to Live Greener

Been meaning to get a handle on some of the facts surrounding climate change,  carbon emissions and everything else sustainability? Or simply want to have some planet trivia to whip out at the pub to impress your friends? You’re not alone!

There are far too many facts, stats and research out there to keep up with – unless of course you live on your Twitter feed and read every article posted on the internet (if so, we salute you!) But for us mere mortals who want to know the facts in a nutshell, and in easily sharable form, I have pulled together 20 of the most pressing facts which inspired me to go green.
Continue reading 20 Facts & Stats Inspiring Us to Live Greener

Antoine Repessé: Portraits of Waste Through the Eyes of a Photographer

I’ve often wondered what all my rubbish would look like if I could see it all laid out in front of me. Though I am uber conscious about throwing things in the landfill, and avoid packaging as much as I can, I am far from the girl who can store her waste in a jar!

But perhaps if we couldn’t hide from the waste we produced, and had to live surrounded by it instead, we could see just how much we still need to cut down on.

This is something which has been beautifully presented by Lille-based photographer Antoine Repessé  in his latest project; #365 Unpacked. In 2011, Repessé stopped throwing away his recyclable rubbish and instead began storing it inside his home for this fascinating photography project. To date he has 70m3 of waste stored!  Continue reading Antoine Repessé: Portraits of Waste Through the Eyes of a Photographer

Eco Driving: Why Green Cars Still Aren’t Commonplace

For the environmentally conscious – few things can feel as guilty as owning a petrol powered vehicle. Yet, for most of us, this is just the reality we live in. Petrol based cars are still the most common vehicle, even though hybrids and purely electric cars are actively available.

Why is this the case? If electric vehicles represent a greener way to drive – and are supposedly cheaper to run, too – why are we so slow in mass-adopting this new technology?

Here mechanic, and passionate green bean, Giles Kirkland shares his know how on the green car industry and why it hasn’t yet gone that extra mile:

Continue reading Eco Driving: Why Green Cars Still Aren’t Commonplace

36 Twitter Accounts That’ll Help you Live Greener

I’ll begin this post by putting my hands up and admitting I am an intermittent and inconsistent Twitter user. I have weeks when I’m completely on it and post regularly, and there are other times when I forget it even exists. Personally I see this approach to social media as healthy; it should simply be something you dip in and out of in between living life, not something you are glued to every second of the day. BUT as a blogger, I am aware that I’m missing a trick. 

Twitter is an awesome way to stay on the ball with the people and topics which interest you, and can be an incredible resource to accessing advice, information and inspiration for living a little more sustainably. And its not just newsfeeds and hashtags you can follow to help your green journey. There are also heaps of weekly debates, Q&As and discussion hours – such as #makedoandmendhour and #veganhour – where you can share (or steal) great ideas and easy green hacks from other like minded tweeters. 

With this in mind, I thought I would share 20 of my favourite Twitter accounts, for anyone interested in sustainability, veganism or green and ethical living. 

Continue reading 36 Twitter Accounts That’ll Help you Live Greener