This may be a topic that has crossed your mind in recent times. With so much in news and media regarding climate change, pollution in our environment and increasing exposure to toxins, the thought of longevity for our planet should be more of an action plan than a thought. So, what can we do in our immediate environment to make impactful changes?
This article hopefully provides some insight as well as some practical ideas you can implement right away.
First up is for the ladies…
Disposable feminine hygiene products are ABSOLUTELY necessary, right? Wrong… Close to 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators are dumped into North American landfills every year. When wrapped in plastic bags, feminine hygiene waste can take centuries to biodegrade. The average woman uses over 11,000 tampons throughout her lifetime, leaving behind residue far beyond her lifespan. It was in 1921 that the first pack of Kotex hit the pharmacy shelves. This was revolutionary at the time, with marketing campaigns leaning into the idea that the new products would make women “happy, well-poised, efficient modern women”, free from the tyranny of old “makeshift” strategies.
Time for a reality check, fast forward 100 years and the feminine hygiene industry is worth over $40 billion US dollars! So, we need to be open minded when we think of who is really benefiting from the use of these disposable products and at what cost to our planet?
Let’s take a look at another option now… here we are in 2020 and stocked on the shelves at Health Space Potts Point, you will find Lunette menstrual cups. The Lunette menstrual cup is an economical and ecologically-friendly alternative to the disposable options we have become so accustomed to using. The cup is made from 100% medical grade silicone, is hypoallergenic and only needs to be changed every 12 hours. Lunette also has another option to consider for that time of the month, the Modibodi period underpants. This is a line of beautiful, functional period underwear that allow women to feel dry, sassy and sustainable…ALL DAY. That’s right, these underpants can hold 1 tampon (1 teaspoon) worth of fluid without leaking. They are made from natural fabrics – bamboo and merino wool and are easily washed, dried and REUSABLE. The perfect match for the Lunette cup.
Check out the website if you’re interested in making the switch >
Did you know, in Australia around 1 billion disposable cups are used every year with countless more going to waste worldwide. There is a common mass-misconception that these cups are recyclable, as they are made from paper. However, to keep the cups watertight, they must be coated with a thin layer of polythylene.
“There is a widespread understanding that you can recycle them,” says Peter Goodwin, co-founder of paper cup recycling specialists Simply Cups. “They have a recycling sign on them so people put them in recycling bins. They perceive coffee cups [are going] to be recycled, but the reality is none of them actually are.”
Luckily, in Australia, we have seen a wave of support for sustainable alternatives to disposable cups. Many cafes are now offering a discount if you bring your own reusable cup. Australia-based reusable coffee cup manufacturer KeepCup stated that interest in their product has increased 690% resulting in a 400% boost in sales. Well done Australia!
Health Space Potts Point offers a range of brands including SOL, Huskee and Ever Eco. Next time you’re in check out the range!
From a health longevity perspective, Dr B. Prabhakar, Gastroenterologist says “The wax on cups gives them a shiny, clean look, just like the wax that fruit vendors use on apples. Wax is insoluble, and if consumed in large quantities, it can get accumulated and may cause bloating, fullness and gas. Depositions of wax can remain in the stomach and cause an obstruction in the intestines. But these medical conditions are only experienced when there is an extremely high intake of wax. Our body can discard minor amounts, however, its ingestion over a long-term can become a problem.”
My recommendation as a holistic nutritionist – to make daily, conscious choices that are in favour of preventative health care. If we can choose a cup that is reusable, we are supporting not only our long-term health goals, we are also helping to preserve the health of our planet for generations to come.
I have one final life improvement that can help the longevity of our planet…If we all work together! The fact that since the beginning of plastic waste production on the onset of the 20th century has seen 5 billion tonnes of plastic waste – scares me, I mean, really makes me feel uneasy! This problem is so alarming that palaeontologist, Jan Zalasiewicz, said that if the plastic wastes will be transformed into a cling wrap, it will be enough to cover the globe. Ai!
So here is an option to tidy up the kitchen. Remove cling wrap from the pantry and replace with reusable beeswax kitchen wraps. Made from all natural food materials such as beeswax, coconut oil, pine tree resin and organic cotton fabrics, this option will save you from the ongoing purchase of cling wrap and actually keep your food fresher, for longer. You can use this for storing foods in the fridge or for on the go such as snacks, wraps, sandwiches, cut fruits, vegetables and cheeses. Great for the kids lunch boxes instead of sending the little ones with food wrapped in plastic every day. Purchase a set of beeswax wraps in different sizes for lunch and recess options. They can be easily washed with a soapy dish cloth or rinsed under cool water.
There are many, many more improvements we can make to reduce the amount of waste we produce on an individual level. I always say, that every change counts and it isn’t possible to do everything at once! One change at a time, one day at a time and you will get there.
For more tips and tricks on how to reduce waste in your household or reduce exposure to toxins, contact Kacy at Health Space Potts Point.