Archive for the "news" category

Fairtrade (and vegan) condoms giveaway!

For our final giveaway of the week, we’re moving on from sanitary products to condoms – sustainable, fairtrade condoms from French Letter.

Earlier today we started discussing which contraceptive methods are best for the environment but in certain situations, condoms are the only option – they’re the only contraception that protects against STIs.

French Letter condoms are made from latex sourced through FairDeal Trading, paying a Fairtrade premium for latex rubber: we often think about Fairtrade food items but not so much other things. The price premium paid through FairDeal Trading is used not only to pay fairer wages but also to provide a better working environment for those on the rubber plantations and better education opportunities for the workers’ children.

The rubber supply is sustainable too – from plantations certified by the FSC – and unlike most condoms which include milk extracts, they don’t contain any animal products or derivatives so are suitable for use by vegans.

We’ve got two packs of condoms to give away – their Aphrodisiac selection — ooh scented!

As with the washable pads, the Mooncup and the Jam Sponges, if you want to be in with a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below (doesn’t have to be much – just “hi” will do, or “if I was designed condoms scents, they’d all be banana or sausage…”) before noon (GMT) on Monday 15th March. I’ll pick two winners at random after that.

(Don’t forget to leave your email address in the email address field – it won’t appear on the website but allows me to contact you if you win.)

UPDATE – Monday 15th March 2010

Wow! Loads of responses! Thanks to everyone who entered. Our lucky winners are…

Gary Hughes and Elizabeth Burton. I’ll be in touch with you both soon to get your address.

Thanks again to French Letter for supplying the condoms – and showing us all that Fairtrade doesn’t just apply to things you put in your mouth food. ;)

Mooncup giveaway!

Following on from yesterday’s washable sanitary pad giveaway (there’s still time to enter the draw if you want a shot at them), today we’ve got a Mooncup to give away. More free green stuff – hurrah!

Menstrual cups – silicone cups that are inserted into the vagina to catch menstrual fluid – are all the rage at the moment — and it’s not hard to see why.

Mooncups are made from medical grade silicone and will last for years and years. It’s such a waste saving when you consider the average woman uses around 12,000 disposable sanitary products during her lifetime!

Mooncups are not only good for the environment, they’re better for your body than chemical-packed tampons or plastic coated sanitary pads. They’re great for people with heavy flows (because they collect three times as much fluid as mainstream sanitary products) and also for light ones (because they don’t dry out the vagina’s walls like tampons can, so are easier to insert and remove).

Because they’re worn inside the body, they can be used while swimming and doing other sports too – a fantastic alternative to tampons really.

If you’ve ever wanted to try one, now could be your chance – just leave a comment below (just “hi” or “gimme! gimme!” will do ;) ) before noon (GMT) on Friday 12th March and I’ll use a random number generator to pick someone to win.

(I’ll pass the details of the winner onto Kath at Mooncup to make sure they receive the correct size for their situation/time of life.)

UPDATE – 12pm Friday 12th March 2010:

Entries are now closed and our lucky winner is comment 13 – congratulations Hannah! I’ll pass your details onto the Mooncup people so they can make sure you get the correct size cup.

For the rest of you, don’t forget you can buy your own Mooncup direct from Mooncup or through stockists around the world.

If you want to try something a bit different, there is also still time to enter our Jam Sponge – sponge tampons – giveaway!

Thanks to everyone who entered and thanks again to Mooncup for donating the prize.

International Women’s Day

Today, the 8th of March, is International Women’s Day.

I’m not really one for Days or similar events because I dislike the way it compartmentalises action or thought and I have particular dislike for International Women’s Day because I don’t feel like I need a special day to celebrate being a woman and our achievements – I’ve got 365 of them a year.

But International Women’s Day isn’t for me. It’s not for me with my education, my career, my IUS, and the roof over my head which I jointly own with my truly-a-partner partner. For example, this year’s IWD is to focus attention to the hardships women face when displaced during armed conflict – and how they often overcome such hardships to rebuild homes and their communities.

Why am I talking about this on a reusing and recycling website? Because it’s all part of the same picture. Yesterday in the Observer, there was a report about how many recently war-torn countries in Africa are being ripped apart again – this time by food companies wanting to construct giant greenhouses to feed us mange tout (pun intended). The people in the worst situations are the ones being exploited to feed us summer veg all year around, to clothe us in £4 fall-apart jeans and provide us with endless consumer items which will end up in landfill within weeks. By living more sustainably over here, we help people throughout the world.

Inspired by IWD today, this week is going to be a little different on Recycle This – we’ll still be thinking about reducing, reusing and recycling but focused around women’s health & sexual health – and we’ve got some great giveaways! Stay tuned!

How do you think kerbside recycling could be improved most in your area?

The UK government’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has recommended new targets for recycling in Britain.

We currently recycle around 37% of our waste – up from just 11% in 2001 – but still lagging behind other European countries, who recycle up to 70% of their waste. The new targets will have us recycling 50% of our waste within five years (2015) and recycling 60% by 2020.

Recycling provision has grown immensely over the last decade – hence that 26% jump – and most people, certainly in urban/suburb areas, do most of their recycling through regular kerbside pickups. But what do you think would improve the doorstep recycling most in your area? What would allow you to recycle more? What do you think would encourage less green-focused people to make the effort too?

I’ve put a poll together to make it easy for people to contribute but feel free to add your own suggestions in the poll or in the comments below.

New feature! How can I repair this?

repair-this-imageI’ve been thinking about doing a “Repair This” site for a couple of years now – more of a reference guide like Compost This than a discussion place – but for one reason or another, it’s just not happened, and it occurred to me the other week that actually, it’s really quite appropriate to have it on here anyway. So … new feature – “How can I repair this?”!

Repairing is, of course, an often forgotten part of the 3Rs but is really a core part of the “reduce” – if you fix something you’ve already got, you don’t need to think of a reuse for the broken item or to recycle it, and you don’t need to buy/acquire a replacement.

Obviously the nature of the repair depends on what’s broken and how, but a surprising amount of things can be fixed in 15 minutes with a bit of thread/wire/duct tape or a new washer/drop of epoxy adhesive. Sometimes it’s just really just a case of having the confidence to give it a try.

So, if you’ve got anything you’d like to repair but don’t know where to start, drop me an email at Conversely, if you’ve fixed something really well or in an interesting way and want to show off your awesome handiwork, send me an email and I’ll feature it on the site.

Anyway, first up, how can I repair leaking trainers/sneakers?