People Say The Nicest Things

People Say The Nicest Things

We received a lovely email this week which sort of summarises why Monthlies exists.

From Beth Southward

I just wanted to message to say how incredible your products are.

I have a 12 year old daughter who gets very embarrassed by her period. The old plastic based pads would leave her cringing people could hear the rustling. We are now on our 3rd month with monthlies and she is so much more confident when her time of the month arrives.

For me the environmental impact is what makes me happy. I’m an avid recycler and we live in a little village where eco living is a way of life. I’m always looking for ways to reduce our impact as a family on the environment.

Knowing that myself and my daughters aren’t contributing to landfills, makes me all warm inside! So from my family,

THANK YOU!

Affordable, comfortable, and eco friendly, simply perfect. Keep up the good work ladies 🙂

Do not let your period spook you!

Do not let your period spook you!

Being a woman involves dealing with a lifelong list of battles, some self-imposed and others created by social pressures. These often include the constant need to remove unwanted hair and the requirement to always look ‘fashionable’. Other challenges just come with our gender – Mother Nature has crowned us with the task of procreation and the obvious monthly cycle.

Periods for many are synonymous with pain, and for others they represent physical and emotional discomfort. For every woman, however, there is the constant worry about an accidental and revealing spot of blood on your clothes. If you’re female, you probably agree with me when I say that periods aren’t fun to deal with but nevertheless, being a woman is still a privilege!

We women are amazing creatures but we have to start accepting, and maybe changing, the burden of negative feelings that we associate with our periods.

It is important to understand that our bodies are incredible machines and that they have specific functions that keep them in perfect working order. So, just like body temperature or blood pressure, sugar levels and digestive functions, the body uses periods as an important indicator of health.

We all know that menstrual cycles are controlled by hormones, which can change throughout life. They also vary from person to person, making “a normal period,” a relative term. These are the same hormones that race through our bodies producing mood swings, and at the same time give us the opportunity of experiencing the complexity of motherhood and the happiness of bearing a child.

We cannot stop the changes that nature enforces upon us but we can change the way that we cope with those changes. Here are some thoughts about what we can do to lighten the burden:

  1. If you accept that every month you will have your period, why be negative about it? It has to come, it has to pass. Why not be prepared? Make sure that you have your environmentally friendly supplies at hand. Be good to yourself and the planet.
  2. The arrival of your period brings two clear messages: firstly, it means you are not pregnant and secondly it means that your body is healthy and working well and if it comes without delay it means that you are leading a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Another positive aspect is that your body is using this time to clean itself. The menstrual period releases bacteria from inside the reproductive system and helps the body to discharge excess iron which can help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Great news!
  4. Reduce alcohol intake. Drinking, even in moderation, while on your period, can actually cause your menstruation to spiral a bit out of control. We know that excess alcohol consumption is linked to outcomes like breast cancer, because alcohol can temporarily increase your oestrogen and testosterone levels, when you menstruate, thus causing missed or unexpected periods.
  1. Reconnect with exercise. You do not need to train for the Olympics! Simple movements and group exercise can improve your self-esteem even during your period. Exercise has a role in boosting the happy hormones.
  2. Improve your diet. I have read about the importance of Magnesium in our diets which can help to relieve menstrual cramps. It may also improve premenstrual mood changes, especially irritability, anxiety and muscle relaxation. Magnesium levels normally fluctuate during a woman’s cycle.

All in all, I just feel that if we can accept our monthly visitor with a positive frame of mind we can ease up on ourselves, lighten the burden and deal with our cycles in a more practical and friendly way.

Being realistic about a plastic free world. Reflections on a ‘Plastic-free’ Summer

Being realistic about a plastic free world. Reflections on a ‘Plastic-free’ Summer

Summer has passed and many enthusiastic humans like us tried to celebrate ‘plastic-free’ months in July and August. Some of us were very successful, but others found it a bit constraining. In my family, we tried to remember our reusable shopping bags, we were glued to the reusable water bottle and we were very strict on recycling. My daughter even said that we were ‘obsessed’ with plastic free! Is this true? Is it possible that we have gone so far down this road that the only way to remove this plastic dependency is to be obsessive about it?

Our daily lives depend on plastic products; toothbrushes, shampoo bottles, micro beads in beauty products, food wrapping and packaging – the list is probably endless. Even going to our favourite (very international) coffee shop and ordering a cold drink became an environmental hazard when we realised that, once the pleasure of drinking it was over, there was no way to recycle the single use ‘plastic’ cup and the straw that was required to drink it. I felt momentarily depressed and very guilty thinking that no matter what we do as planet lovers the war against plastic is going to be very long and complicated. That said we just cannot give up.

It is our individual responsibility to do something about it (anything is better than doing nothing). We have to learn to reduce demand for plastic products and reduce senseless plastic use. I am tired of feeling helpless and hopeless, but again, I know that big changes start with small steps.

So my first small step is to highlight five simple actions that all of us can take in order to kickstart our plastic-independent lifestyle, all of which will have a positive impact on the reduction of plastic production and consumption.

  • Avoid using plastic bags: It’s simple. We all know they are damaging and everybody is aware of the horror caused by plastic bags, recently highlighted by the news of the dead whale found with a stomach full of plastic bags. Now you can get very pretty reusable shopping bags.
  • Avoid plastic bottles and any single use items (cups –straws – food containers). I do not need to say much more about it as the title of this report says it all: “Drowning in plastic: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of France”
  • Avoid unnecessary children toys and freebies that come with fast food.
  • If you have no other alternative, think of ways to use, re-use, up-cycle and re-cycle. Check with friends or relatives if they have the item that you need, borrow it or even buy it second hand. Remember, plastic does not disintegrate
  • Buy plastic free personal hygiene products. No micro beads! Also, remember to buy plastic free tampons and pads. Every month, women go through an endless number of disposal pads and tampons. Just think that the conventional sanitary pads are roughly 90% plastic and to make things worse every year, over 45 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed somewhere – anywhere.

Monthlies.co.uk brings to your door every month Natracare products which are organic pads and tampons made from sustainable materials that are compostable, biodegradable and a 100% plastic free. The company’s mission is to research, develop and monitor sustainable solutions for reducing the environmental impact of feminine hygiene products and waste. Natracare products are biodegradable – and they can even be composted!

Monthlies.co.uk offers you an easy way for you to make a start and make some important changes that have an impact.

The ‘M’ Word and the Sad Truth

The ‘M’ Word and the Sad Truth

The issue of menstrual hygiene has, until very recently, been neglected and there has been a persistent reluctance to talk openly about this important subject. Menstrual hygiene is gaining growing attention, however, as a crucial aspect to achieving improved child health, education retention (in developing countries) and gender equality.

Menstruation is a natural process but if it is not properly managed it can result in health problems. The impact of poor menstrual hygiene on the psycho-social well-being of women and girls (including stress levels, fear and embarrassment, and social exclusion during menstruation) should also be considered.

Menstruation is an uncomfortable subject to discuss for many. Listeners blush with the sound of the word, posters are kept hidden and the unspeakable “M” word for many is kept discrete when compared to other topics of public health such as sexual and reproductive health and education.

The current silence about menstruation limits women’s and adolescent girls’ access to relevant and important information about their bodies, directly affecting their health, education, dignity and human rights.

Sanitation facilities and emergency supplies at schools is a global need

To manage menstruation hygienically and with dignity, it is essential that women and girls have access to basic sanitation. Women and girls need somewhere private to change sanitary cloths or pads; clean water and soap for washing their hands, bodies and reusable cloths; and facilities for safely disposing of used materials or a clean place to dry them if reusable (cloth pads).

A girl’s first period can be frightening! Here in the UK, and as a personal anecdote, until 5 years ago, our primary school did not have bins for menstrual waste collection in the year 6 toilet. My daughter was one of the oldest girls in the group and she had to walk around the school after her toilet visit to find the “grown up” toilet near the school’s reception area to dispose of the menstrual pad.  This caused embarrassment but my girl felt the need to write a letter to the headmistress and the problem was solved. How many girls are in the same situation or worse – even in developed countries like the UK?

Access to materials

A few months back we were reading about the situations in the United States but the problem is also evident in the UK http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39266056, the girl featured in this article was unable to afford feminine hygiene products and felt she had no choice but to miss school in order ‘to avoid the embarrassment of staining her clothes’. When you hear this story you cannot imagine something like this happening here – in one of the world’s most advanced economies. The sad truth is that many low-income and/or homeless/ refugee girls and women cannot afford sanitary supplies. This website sums up the problem – http://thehomelessperiod.com/ and it appears that food banks just do not have enough of any feminine hygiene products to keep up with demand.

Monthlies is standing up for the girls and women in the UK and we are always thinking of ways to support them and promote awareness and contribute. You can donate our biodegradable sanitary products to a wide range of causes (including your local school) on our site. We hope you will support us in our efforts to help those that are less fortunate.

A Period Puzzle

A Period Puzzle

My name is Beabea and I’m 10 and a ½ years old.

Even though I haven’t started my period yet I am sure that I will have my family and friends to support me when I start.

Periods are one of the most important changes during a girl’s puberty. Each month as a girl or woman you will have a few days of bleeding from your vagina. And that is a sign that your body is changing from a girl’s body to a woman’s body.

It’s natural to be scared at first but do not worry. Your period tells you that that your body (and your hormones ) are working properly.

Most girls tend to feel a bit shy and embarrassed about their periods, or wish that they didn’t have them in the first place. And other girls wonder how they will cope with all the changes. But you will have to go through it anyway no matter what you say or do.

My advice is do not worry too much and you will get through it much more easily.