Posts tagged ‘Awareness’

November 1, 2013

An alternative for tampons & sanitary napkins… the Mooncup!

Recommended to me by a friend, I decided to test an alternative to tampons and sanitary napkins. After experiencing the “monthly thing” for over half of my life as an extremely unpleasant experience…..

(Dear men, please don’t run away, don’t be scared, this is a normal subject! I promise I won’t make a habit out of it, but I do intent to sell this amazing alternative via the blog),

…..I decided it’s time to make a change. A change to caring about my own body, as well as caring about nature. 

To me it seems like the big brands (a.o. Procter& Gamble, Johnson & Johsnsons)  have got a huge lobby, to make us think tampons and sanitary napkins are good for us. Are you conscious of what you eat? Of how you take care of yourself? Ofcourse you are! Then why do you still put a bleached piece of cotton inside you or a chemically perfumed thing in your underwear? 

I tried the Mooncup, and hope to be offering you all a link here soon, where you coukd buy your own body- and environmentally- friendly menstruation cup. I decided I will help spread the word, create awareness of this alternative, because every woman should have the right to choose how she can take care of herself. Did you know, that where I live, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, I only  found 1 shop where one can buy a menstruation cup? 

The Mooncup – known in the USA as MCUK – is the original silicone menstrual cup designed by women to be a convenient, safe and eco-friendly alternative to tampons and sanitary pads. Loved by women all around the world, and made in the UK by a multi-award winning ethical business, the Mooncup menstrual cup offers an end to the waste, discomfort and expense of disposable sanitary protection.

The Mooncup is a reusable menstrual cup, around two inches long and made from soft medical grade silicone. It is worn internally a lot lower than a tampon but, while tampons and pads absorb menstrual fluid, the Mooncup collects it. This means it doesn’t cause dryness or irritation, and also that it collects far more (three times as much as a tampon!). Because the Mooncup is reusable, you only need one so it saves you money and helps the environment, too.

The Mooncup is designed to be folded and inserted into the vagina, then removed, rinsed and reinserted up to every 8 hours. A light seal is formed with your vaginal walls, allowing menstrual fluid to pass into the Mooncup without leakage or odour. This seal is released for removal, allowing you to empty the contents, rinse or wipe and reinsert. Comfortable, convenient and safe: the Mooncup can be used overnight and when travelling, swimming or exercising.

Safer

Made from soft medical grade silicone, the Mooncup is latex-free and contains no dyes, BPA, toxins or bleaches. It’s also great for women with sensitive skinTampons can cause dryness and leave fibres behind. The Mooncup is designed to respect your natural balance.

Cheaper

One woman uses up to 22 items of sanitary protection every period. Regardless of your flow, you only need one Mooncup, and it lasts for years and years, making it the most economical sanitary product you can buy. One Mooncup lasts for years, and costs the same as the average woman will spend on disposable sanitary protection in three months.

Eco-friendly…

The reusable Mooncup offers a simple way to dramatically reduce the amount of waste you produce.

  • One woman will use over 11,000 disposable sanitary products in a lifetime
  • 22 tampons or towels are used, on average, each period
  • In the UK alone, 4.3 billion disposable sanitary products are used every year

These items, their packaging, applicators and backing-strips will end up in landfill or in the sea.

Mooncup Ltd. is the first sanitary protection manufacturer in the world to be awarded Ethical Business status for its people and environmentally -friendly practices (for more information on Mooncup Ltd., visit the About page)

Healthier…

The Mooncup is made from soft medical grade silicone and is latex-free, hypoallergenic and contains no dyes, BPA, phthalates, plastic, bleaches or toxins. Because the Mooncup is non-absorbent, it will not cause dryness and does not disrupt your body’s natural pH levels (35% of the fluid tampons absorb is natural moisture!).

The Mooncup has measurement markings, enabling women to accurately report menstrual blood loss to a doctor or gynaecologist.

The Mooncup does not contain any absorbency gels, additives or perfumes. Unlike some conventional cotton sanitary products, it is also free from pesticides and GM materials.

Tampons can cause dryness and leave fibres behind. The Mooncup is designed to respect your natural balance.

The Mooncup is produced to ISO 13485:2003: a regulated quality management system specifically requiring that the service provided by an organisation “consistently meet[s] customer and regulatory requirements applicable to medical devices and related services”. From ISO online

Convenient…

The Mooncup holds at least three times as much fluid as a tampon, giving longer lasting protection on heavier days. And, because it is non-absorbent, it won’t cause dryness when your period is light.

Because there is no string, the Mooncup is completely discreet – and you only need one so there’s no need to carry bulky spares or worry about disposal of used products or packaging.

So I hear you think… won’t I get dirty fingers? In general NO! Maybe the first few days when you are testing what is comfortable, but after, I assure you, in general you will make less mess than you are used to! The only negative aspect I came across during my testing phase (Mooncup even has a helpline with qualified nurses to answer your questions!), is that Unfortunately Mooncup does not ship to Italy or Israel. Feel free to ask questions! I will forward them to the Mooncup advice centre and let you know. 

Mooncup Ltd. is the first sanitary protection manufacturer in the world to be awarded Ethical Business status for its people and environmentally -friendly practices (for more information on Mooncup Ltd., visit the About page) 

 

 

 Click HERE to be directed to the shop where you can order yourself one!

 

 

 

More info: http://www.mooncup.co.uk
FAQ’s: http://www.mooncup.co.uk/advice-centre.html

Dear women, have a happy period. And dear men, thank you for sticking with us.

November 21, 2011

Conscious colouring; natural and plant based hair colouring

I’ve always loved experimenting with different hair- styles and colours, but for a couple of years I’ve stuck to my own colour, ‘cause I had my doubts about the standard chemical ways of colouring. I recently met Dianne te Mebel, director and owner of the Instituut Haar & Gezondheid (Institute for Hair & Health) in Amsterdam. The Instituut Haar & Gezondheid is one of few salons in Amsterdam and even The Netherlands, which aims to use as much natural products as possible and integrate this in anything they do. Ever since Diane was young, she has a passion for nature, which she decided to incorporate into her profession. She developed herself as an expert in natural and plant based hair colouring.

I’ve always thought that to colour my dark hair,  the only way was de- colouring with ammoniac and then dying with chemical colours. Dianne dared me to test otherwise. She said that not only she could naturally add a hint of colour to my hair, but also promised to revitalise and regenerate my hair, to give it a “healing” treatment to prepare myself for winter. Perhaps, just like me, you don’t know too much about natural and plant based hair colouring? The ladies of the Instituut Haar & Gezondheid, definitely know their field of work and took their time to make me feel comfortable and inform me about anything I was interested in and more.

So.. well.. then what is natural and plant based hair colouring exactly?

The base is henna. Henna is a plant (a shrub actually, called Lawsonia Inermis, more info HERE ), with leaves that contain a tannin dye molecule. This molecule is called Lawson, and  is released when the leaves are pulverised, acidified and made into a paste. This paste can be applied to hair (or skin), to give it a deep, reddish brown stain, because it binds to keratin (that’s what the outer layer of our skin and hair is made of). The colours added to the henna, are extracted from parts of amongst others flowers, trees, and plants that are dried and pulvarised until powder. For example coffee, onion peel, blue wood, cinnamon, hazelnut, rhubarb, salvia, tea, marigold, grains, elderberries and birch bark  are commonly used. Before the colouring- process, the hair is first washed with a mild shampoo to open the hair scales (yes, just like the ones a fish has..), so the pigment can go in between. In my case the hair was washed with a shampoo of Pure Pact (Over HERE you can read my introduction to Pure Pact). When the hair is dried, the hair scales close and keep the pigment inside. The colour will stay in the hair for about 6 to 8 weeks. By washing the colouring, it will slowly get more vague, here for there  will not be any visible outgrow like with chemical hair colouring. Natural hair colouring does not change the colour of your hair, so being a brunette and becoming a blonde, is not possible (but if your hair is grey, you can become a blonde again with the help of marigold!). If you have some grey hairs, as effect of the colouring you’ll get highlights instead. Plant based hair colouring is transparent, it forms a layer around the hair instead of penetrating it. You will keep your own hair colour with a nuance in the colour. From solely natural resources, 40 nuances are possible. By repeating the process of colouring regularly, the colour will become deeper and more intense.

Dianne loves nature and the environment. While working in her hair salon, she realised that even if she was using natural products, in the process of colouring the hair was being packed with tin foil, which was trashed after use. It’s necessary to keep the hair warm after one applies the colouring, so it attaches better to the hair. This caused Dianne to think about a more sustainable way for this process, after which she invented and developed the sustainable heat cap for colouring. With this cap she got nominated for Duurzame Dinsdag 2011, where the countries’ best sustainable ideas are put in a suitcase and offered to the cabinet in order to create more awareness.

All over the world there are millions of women that colour their hair. Many of them do this themselves, at home. Natural and plant based hair colouring is completely safe and simple when you have the right ingredients and tools, so Dianne did a lot of research, imported products and developed a starting package to make it possible for you to create your own natural hair colouring and dye your hair in the comfort of your own home. The package comes in 15 different nuances, but you can also get in touch with her to create a colour combination of your choice, or pass by the Instituut Haar & Gezondheid to get advised, ask questions and pick up a personalised package. Over HERE you can order the package.  A starting package costs € 47.50,– (exclusive €2.30,– for delivery in The Netherlands) and consists of; a bag of colouring, a sustainable heat cap, and enamel bowl, a wide paintbrush, a twine of cotton wool and a manual. The package fits through your mailbox.

Check out a small introduction & explanation clip over here; 

When I visited the salon, the ladies made me a personalised mix of auburn, mahogany and henna colore. The nuances in my hair are mostly visible outside in daylight. Indoors, besides the exception of a very attentive individual, it’s only myself who notices the colour difference. BUT, even after having seriously neglected my split ends, a summer of sea and sun, living in a city with plenty of exhausts, as well as having often coloured my hair chemically in the past, my hair is obviously revitalised. It’s voluminous, it’s shiny, it feels soft and it looks healthy. I LOVE IT!  I’m already looking forward to my next treatment and curious to how my hair will be when the colouring gets more intense and deeper!

Have you ever coloured your hair? Are you conscious about what hair and beauty products you use? Are you aware that natural products are better for you than chemical based products?

Starting package natural hair colouring

Starting package natural hair colouring

Thx 2 Wiki.
For more info, personalised advise or to order the starting package; CLICK HERE
Questions on natural and plant based hair colouring? Ask them to experts on a specialised forum; HERE 
VERY SOON the brand new webshop of Instituut Haar en Gezondheid will be online, I’ll keep you updated of course. ‘Till then; http://www.instituuthaarengezondheid.nl

November 1, 2011

Election of lesbICOONingin 2011

Stichting OndersteBoven, Foundation UpsideDown in English, was founded in 2006, because most gay societies were not aiming their initiatives at women. OndersteBoven wanted to change this. Thefoundation aims to encourage the social acceptance women and in particular of lesbian and bisexual women. To achieve this, OndersteBoven tries to make these
women “visible”.

OndersteBoven initiates and stimulates scientific research and organises projects and activities connected to themes connected to the above. Such as e.g.  De Trotse Lesboot (The Proud
Les boat) during the Gay Pride, initiating a LesBian Pride, the introduction of the LesbIcoon (Lesbian Icon) and the election of the LesbICOONingin (Lesbian Icon Queen).

Lesbian Icones are women who are an example for other women with LesBian feelings. You don’t have to be famous to be or become a LesbIcoon. The LesbICOONingin from The Netherlands distinguishes herself from other LesbIconen by the way she expresses her sex and raises awareness for women with lesbian feelings. Previous crownholders were Riek Stienstra (2007) and Anya Wiersma (2010).

Until November 15 you can vote for the LesbICOONingin of 2011. If your (Dutch) Lesbian Icon is not on the list, you can add her too. Click HERE to vote (In Dutch)

The fresh LesbICOONingin of 2011 will receive her crown on December 14 in Amsterdam, at the opening of ProGay’s Pink Christmas  and the relaunch of Zij aan Zij (Zij aan Zij is the first Dutch magazine specificly for lesbian and bisexual women and ofcourse bi-curious women as they’re called in “the” scene).

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Amsterdam is such an international city. Why are all these societies, magazines, foundations and companies trying to create awareness in Dutch only? What about all the interested expats, exchange students and other foreigners? Don’t we want them to be aware?

More info (Unfortunately you’ll have to be able to read Dutch) and relevant links;

http://www.stichtingondersteboven.nl

http://www.pinkchristmas.nl

http://www.zijaanzij.nl

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