Categories
environment reduce reuse

5 Reasons why I love my Mooncup!

Mooncup alternative to tampons
Mooncup

I love my Mooncup. I really do. Completely, totally and utterly love it. I’ve used one for about 9 years now and I hate it on rare occasions when I’ve had to go back to disposable sanitary products.

Some of you may be asking “what is a Mooncup?”. Well, a Mooncup is a menstrual cup. Menstrual cups are used instead of tampons to deal with menstruation, but unlike tampons, instead of absorbing menstrual blood, the catch it. They are about the size of an egg cup, made of clinical grade silicone, and sit just inside the vagina. They collect the menstrual flow and when it’s full, you just empty it, rinse it and put it back. Simple!

The next question, I guess, is “why do you love it so much?” and the answers to that one are many!

1. They save you lots of money. I have been using the same one for 9 years (although I’ve been pregnant and breastfeeding twice in that time!), so I haven’t had to buy tampons for 9 years. Even assuming I only bought one box of supermarket’s own tampons a month, I would have saved £80ish. £80 is a lot of money!

2. They save tonnes of wasted going to landfill. According to the Women’s Environmental Network, a woman will throw away between 125 and 150kg of landfill in her lifetime. (Source WEN report “Seeing Red”) Imagine if everyone stopped switched to reusables!

3. They are healthier. Tampons can and do cause toxic shock syndrome, a potentially life threatening infection. Although they are bleached white and wrapped in plastic, they are not sterile and cannot be sterilised. Menstrual cups are made of clinical grade silicone and can be sterilised either by boiling or soaking a sterilising solution such as Milton.

4. They don’t dry you out. Tampons are made of fibre and work by absorbing fluid. They don’t just absorb menstrual blood, they absorb all the moisture in the vagina, meaning they can leave you dry and uncomfortable. As menstrual cup’s collect the menstrual flow rather than absorbing them, they are not as drying.

5. Less need to change them. As they are safer, non-drying and hold loads, you can safely leave them in for up to 12 hours.

So there you have it, 5 reasons why I love my Mooncup. What do you think?

Categories
environment reduce reuse

A scatterbrained woman’s thoughts on plastic bags

CREDIT: REUTERS/PETR JOSEK
CREDIT: REUTERS/PETR JOSEK

Just after Christmas I went up to Glasgow to stay with family and went out sales shopping. I was a little surprised when, in Marks and Spencer, I was asked if I wanted a carrier bag for my clothing purchase, and even more surprised when I was charged 5p for it. Surprised, but not cross, quite pleased really.

When I got back to my parents-in-law, I mentioned it to them, and had to smile when both my mother- and grandmother-in-law produced small reusable bags from their handbags. I was impressed. The 5p charge was obviously working.

It made me think. I have the best intentions not to get carrier bags, I have a huge collection of reusable shopping bags. I also have a mountain of single use plastic bags from all the times I have forgotten to take my reusable bags.

The Government estimates that 8 billion carrier bags are given out in supermarkets each year. That equates to 130 per person per year. That’s 57000 tonnes of carrier bags ending up in landfill every year*. Yikes!

In October of this year England will see the introduction of a 5p charge for carrier bags at the supermarket, to bring it in line with the other countries in the UK who already charge this.  The introduction of the charge in Wales resulted in a 79% reduction in carrier bag usage.

My biggest problem is remembering to take bags with me.  If I have a carrier bag with me, I will happily use, and willingly give plastic bags back to retailers in favour of using a bag I already have. Hopefully, a 5p charge will encourage me to make sure I always have bags with me – if not the new legislation could get expensive!

What about you? Do you have any tips on plastic bag reusage for a scatterbrained mum?

*Source – https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-and-managing-waste/supporting-pages/charging-for-single-use-plastic-carrier-bags

Categories
Nappies reduce reuse

What do you do about poo?

I once asked a Grandma at a baby event if she ever pooed in her bin. The look of shock on her face was a sight to behold and to be honest I did think I’d over-stepped the mark. My question, however, came on the back of her trying to persuade her pregnant daughter not to consider using washable nappies as “she just liked the idea of wrapping it all up and throwing it away.” It hadn’t occurred to her that what that actually meant was putting poo in the bin.

One of the many reasons I like cloth nappies is that the poo is dealt with by the sewerage system. The sewerage system is designed to deal with human faeces and treat it appropriately. Putting poo in the bin, means it ends up in landfill, where any bacteria or viruses can potentially leach into soil and water systems and can cause a health hazard for refuse workers.

Even when using disposable nappies, I still tip the poo into loo before folding it up and putting it in the bin. To me it is just the hygienic thing to do. I have heard it argued that poo is biodegradable and therefore its OK to send it to landfill, it will just biodegrade. However, it is generally wrapped inside a plastic nappy and put inside at least one plastic bag (often more as the nappy is inside a nappy sack, inside a bin bag). The plastic prevents air and light and bacteria necessary for the bio-degradation to take place from reaching the poo. So it fossilizes inside the nappy. In a hundred years time, archaeologists of the future will find bags of preserved dirty nappies in our landfill sites. Delightful!

It doesn’t take much to put the poo down the loo. Whether you choose to reuse or are disposable all the way.

What about you? Do you bin it or flush it?