As Women’s History month comes to a close, I personally have found this month more educational then usual when it comes to Women. But ironically, it wasn’t the history side of things I’ve been educating myself on. It’s what women can do for the future.
A couple of months ago, I became a pescatarian as I had issues with eating meat, partly due to not liking the harm to animals and the other part being health reasons and a bad affect on my IBS – but I love seafood a bit too much to cut fish out (yet). As part of this change I then became curious about what else I can do to both help myself and the environment.
I know what you’re thinking, what’s this got to do with being a woman? Well, surprisingly, a lot. I recently learned that as women we have a higher input in how we can help the environment!
Why? Well, I recently read a book called ‘Every Woman’s Guide to Saving the planet’ by Natalie Isaacs and also another called ‘How to Break Up With Fast Fashion’ by Lauren Bravo. These books cover some good points. They explain things like women usually are the ones who do the weekly food shops, follow fashion a lot more and are currently trying to be in with the trend, need to purchase sanitary products at least once a month, are demanded to not have body hair etc. Well all those things I’ve just mentioned have a knock on effect on the environment.
Firstly, with shopping – how many items do you buy that are wrapped in plastic? We all know how much plastic damages the environment. How many times do you use disposable razors instead of long-term use ones? You see where I’m going with this.
I am also alarmed by the things I learned in Lauren Bravo’s book. Fast fashion has so, so many dangers entwined with it for the environment. Landfill and slave labour combined, it is quite an emotional experience when you read about how much goes into making these fast (low quality) fashionable items.
Imagine being forced to constantly slave over sewing and mending new materials in an unsafe building with loads of health hazards and being paid way below a decent minimum wage to do so. That’s what is behind a lot of the fashion brands we shop from.
But how can we as women help change these things? After all we’re just individual women…
Here are some things I have started doing since I’ve read these books and making a small positive change where I can. If we could get every woman to do one or some of these things, it would make an amazing difference to our planets future:
1. Eat less meat. If you can’t go without meat (& I am not one to judge anyone’s life choices.) then try and condense down the amount of meat you eat.
2. As much as humanly possible, avoid buying items wrapped in plastic. This will be hard at times, but as Natalie states in her book, the more customers that stop buying it, the more the markets are then forced to review and change.
3. Stop using disposable shaving and sanitary items. The plastic disposable razors and the sanitary products we use for our periods are also causing serious damage to the environment. Although none of us asked to be forced to shave all the time, or have periods, we can still change how we treat these things in an environmental friendly way…
Shaving wise: they still sell electric reusable razors. You can get some pretty cheap on Amazon and they have all sorts of versions now for different types of shaving, multi-head ones are quite easy to find. There are also new companies out there who are paying more attention to how uncomfortable shaving ‘down there’ can be. There are new hair removal creams from a company called Woo Woo that are amazing. All the hair removal, less pain, irritation and rubbish 😉
Period wise: there are many more sustainable products now for your period, the menstrual cup has been introduced in recent times but if like myself, you may have a particular condition or discomfort with inserting tampons etc the cup is not a good idea for you. But there is an amazing new invention called period pants! There are quite a few companies who do these now, specially designed pants that are comfortable to wear and can contain your period with no leakage or irritation. I recently brought a bunch of modibodi ones and spent all of my last cycle just wearing them. All you need to do, is rinse the pants under a cold tap after each use, hang to dry, reuse if you need to and at the end of the cycle put all the pants into a cold washing machine wash. No sanitary waste 😉
4. Mend your clothes or reuse old outfits and mix them up a bit. We are constantly brainwashed with the idea of ‘seasons’ and not being able to re-wear our clothes after a couple of wears. Well scrap that idea! We clearly buy these clothes for a reason, because we loved them to start with. If you have gone off a particular outfit then what’s to say you can’t try out some sewing skills and reinvent your outfit a bit. Or put it with different new items for a nice outfit?
But if you really, really feel like you must have new clothes and number 4 doesn’t help, then this brings me to my last point.
5. Buy second hand or hand made by small businesses. Second hand fashion is coming back into fashion. People are falling in love more with amazing second hand finds in local charity shops or on eBay. Also, I don’t know if it was down to the pandemic or this is something that has been going on for years but there are loads of businesses who are making their own clothes to sell to people. Crochet has become a massive thing recently and there are so many good quality small businesses you can buy from. Vintage is the way forward ladies! Let’s do what we can to stop the dangers of fast fashion in its tracks.
I hope this post has given some good inspiration for you. I like to think on the subject of history month, how awesome would it be if 100 years from now our great-great grandchildren are also learning in women’s history month how much change we inspired to stop the environment from being too dangerous for them to live in. How’s that for some food for thought? 🙂