We’re on a roll! Conversations are happening, things are moving, plans slowly starting to form…. its exciting stuff!
As you’ll know if you’ve read other posts, much of what I’ve been doing with regard to Aunty Flo’s Ragtime Band started out from trying to find ways of supporting girls to stay in education in developing countries, particularly Uganda, through my work with the small but perfectly formed charity Doubleme.org.
But as I’m chuntering along in Kent doing my thing to save the world, one African girl at a time, it turns out my lovely friend of old is wittering along in Sheffield, still about the sanitary pads, but with a slightly different, and equally important, slant.
So please allow me to introduce the lovely Gwen, Aunty Flo’s newest recruit, my partner in crime, to tell you about why she is on board…..
Plastic free period
With more light being shone on the devastating effects of single use plastics ending up in our environment and oceans all over the world, I think I’m one of a growing number of people increasingly looking for alternatives to plastic in all areas of life. So now, along with waking up to the pleasing chink of milk bottles on the door step, instead of plastic bottles from the supermarket, and our new matching family set of bamboo toothbrushes, I have swapped to cloth sanitary pads.
Disposable sanitary pads can contain around 90% plastic, and every year, over 45 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed of somewhere.
Sanitary waste is either incinerated, releasing harmful gasses and toxic waste, or sent to landfill. The plastics used in sanitary pads, liners and tampon applicators does not biodegrade at all, and will remain in the environment unchanged for hundreds of years. Waste will often be picked up by birds, or blown across land and into streams, ending up in the oceans. Marine wildlife is at serious risk from plastic pollution, as animals eat the plastic thinking it is food. What’s more, plankton eat microscopic fragments of plastic and transfer it all the way back up the food chain, and I really don’t want that ending up back on my plate!
I’ve found there are added benefits to cloth pads, apart from saving the planet. They are so comfortable, and if like me you love sewing, a great way to use up an increasingly overflowing fabric stash. You can change the shape and size to suit your flow, make them thick, thin, superlong, stripy, spotty any way you want. So, if you’re making one for yourself, why not make another one or two to send to someone who will have to miss school each month without them. Donate them to a local food bank or send them to Aunty Flo’s Ragtime Band to take to Uganda, to be distributed to girls who have no alternative if they don’t have cloth pads. Help to end #periodpoverty and #makelaundrynotlandfill. Happy sewing! Gwen
So there you have it, it’s not just me! And there’s so much to do, so many ways we can help, if we all do a little. If you’ve not looked before and you’re interest has been sparked, have a look at just a few ideas I’ve collected so far on the awesome Pinterest (was there even life before Pinterest? Oh yeah, scrap books…..) and see what you think. If you’re not one for stitching, there’s a huge market now for the washable re-usable and I speak from experience, the fleece ones are amazing; like going to work in your comfiest pjs – and who wouldn’t want that on those gut-aching days?
Watch this space, but not for too long – go do something about it – and where you can, ditch the plastic!