Goods 4 Girls

The feminine hygiene industry has set us all up to believe that the waste that is generated by our monthly cycles is a necessity. They would like to set that up in Africa as well. There is one woman out there who does not think this is a good idea and is doing something about it.

Deanna Duke is an amazing woman, not only can she get people to turn their thermostats way down,  eat local food, wipe with washable toilet paper and give up on disposable feminine hygiene products, but she can rally tons of people to care about feminine hygiene in Africa. Deanna has a blog called Crunchy Chicken . I don’t know when she started her blog, but I have been following it since last April. She is a passionate woman and really gets things done. After researching this topic and blogging about it, she immediately set up a website to help these women.
Here is what she had to say on her blog:
Last Monday, I posted my environmental concerns regarding the disposable sanitary napkins being sent to South African girls as part of a campaign being led by Proctor & Gamble. While I applaud their effort in helping the girls there continue to go to school, I am unsettled by sending over so many disposables into areas where incineration is the main method of disposal.

What are the big problems with this? Well, the first thing that ran through my mind when I saw one of the commercials was the environmental impact. In most of these areas, they have no solid waste treatment programs. In other words they burn their waste.As such, products that have synthetic components (like Always pads and Tampax tampons) would be incinerated. In fact, the bathrooms Femcare are building most likely will have small, sealed incinerators near the bathroom. Quite handy, I suppose, but what about the pollutants emitted from burning these products? They get inhaled by the students and teachers. The last time I checked, the pads came in a plastic wrapper so those would need to be burned as well as any other packaging.Additionally, there are cultural issues at play here, where in some parts of Africa it is believed that one’s blood can be used to cast spells. Hence, the incinerators being built near the bathrooms – they would be necessary lest you fear that your used pad be taken for nefarious purposes.

Many of Crunchy Chicken’s readers have pledged to make pads or buy them already made to donate to the cause. If this is something you are interested in, please check out the new site  Good4girls . There are links to patterns you can down load, as well as links to people who make pads for purchase.

And while we are talking about feminine hygiene…..how do you deal with your own? Or if you are a man, how do the women in your life deal with theirs. Using reusable products is not only cheaper in the long run, but so much better for the environment even considering the water used to wash them. For most healthy women, a regular wash in cold water is all that is needed. Some women soak their pads in water and then pour everything in the washer and spin the water off, then add more clothing to make a regular sized load.

I use the Diva Cup  .  Crunchy ran a Diva Cup challenge back in April of last year and I decided I would take the plunge. So I bought myself a cup and have been using it ever since. Now it isn’t a piece of cake to use, but it is a cake walk to care for. And while you can’t eat it like you can cake, it  just makes you happy every time you see it knowing there is no more waste.

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5 Comments

  1. Andrea said,

    February 20, 2008 at 11:52 am

    I keep wanting to use my diva cup, and I keep forgetting that I have it… I have to get to where I just do it… use it and remember it, and do it. I also bought some cloth pads, but when I ordered it I thought I was ordering a packet of them, and only 1 came, so it hasn’t really worked out yet… they are kind of expensive- so I might try to make them myself or something- (in my spare time – yeah right!) When I saw that commercial on tv about the girls in Africa I was like “What!?- are they going to have a giant landfill next to their village with used feminine pads in it? and I thought we should be sending them diva cups or something like that instead. What a disaster they are creating. You know those girls want to go to school, but why do large companies always create such disasters for the environment? I know we are all a part of it- we keep buying the crap, etc… but, once you get used to doing something a certain way, it’s hard to change the habits, especially for more mainstream people. I guess it’s inconvenient… kind of like Al Gore said, it’s the “Inconvenient Truth”.

  2. February 20, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks for posting about Goods 4 Girls!

    BTW, I love my DivaCup. I’m glad you took part in the challenge with me. You must be one of my first readers 🙂

  3. wasteweardaily said,

    February 20, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    You are welcome Crunchy. Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving a comment.
    Cindy in FL

  4. Lauriloo said,

    March 3, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    You don’t have to be able to sew to make pads. In a pinch you can make do with a couple of rags and a safety pin. Fold one rag into a burrito shape. Put the burrito into the crotch of your underwear, wrap the other rag around the burrito and the underwear so that the edges of the wraparound rag overlap in the middle under the underwear crotch. Safety pin the overlapped edges of the wraparound rag to the underside of the underwear crotch. Don the apparatus: you’ll see, you won’t feel the pin, and unless you’re doing a decathalon that day, everything should stay in place.

    Fiddling with pins is a pain in the butt, so eventually you probably want to invest in some velcro or snaps and sew up some envelope thingies. Or just bite the bullet and buy the “Glad Rags” or similar overpriced stuff–it IS overpriced, but it lasts forever and is thousands of times better than buying the paper stuff every month and paying for every amazing technological innovation and ad campaign. I am now completely weaned off disposables and it is such a relief. I hate getting ripped off.

    Lost socks make great inserts if you run out or need to supplement.

  5. wasteweardaily said,

    March 4, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Lauriloo, thanks for the suggestion. I like the idea of pinning stuff to your drawers so it doesn’t shift around.
    Cindy in FL


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