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Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

Life isn't an Emoji (1)

This feature is part of the NCCWN Donegal Women’s Network, ‘Women’s Lives, Women’s Voices’ series. Written by Deirdre Kennedy who reflects on her journey to reduce the amount of plastic waste generate in her home. Giving a number of practical examples she has adopted to reduce her plastic usage.


As a woman I feel a huge responsibility for the amount of plastic waste that we as a gender generate every month. As the mother of four girls and two boys there was a huge amount of waste leaving our house every week.

plastic-waste
Did you know the amount of plastic waste generated per person in Ireland is estimated to be 60kg [1] (132 pounds) in weight.

One of the easiest changes that we as women can make is in our personal care. On the shelf sanitary wear is almost completely made from plastic and like nappies these take hundreds of years to breakdown in landfill.

 

A great substitute for sanitary towels is cloth sanitary protection( CSP) these are  so comfortable and absorbent and come in varying  sizes and shapes and in the long term a money saving investment, most will last 10 years if you have a large bundle in rotation, or 5 years in a smaller bundle.

sanitary products
On average women and girls face and estimated cost of €132.34 [2] for sanitary products per year in Ireland. Which over the course of their lives amounts to at least €3970.

If you are a user of tampons then you may be interested in a Menstrual cup, If you have never heard of these before they are a medical grade silicone that is shaped like a small egg cup it is used in the same way as a tampon.

 

When I discovered the menstrual cup it was like an epiphany for me I truly felt like I had been freed from the shackles of my period. It is so handy and liberating not having to carry around pads and tampons. The cup can just be removed, emptied into the toilet, wiped or washed in the sink and reinserted it is really that simple. Women who have used CSP and menstrual cups for a few months have also reported less painful periods.

 

Being responsible for most of the products that come into my home and the waste management of it leaving, made me realise that there was so much more that I could do to reduce our use of plastic.

 

I started using cloth nappies and cloth baby wipes, cloth breast pads, Cloth make up removers, Re-useable cloths in the kitchen in the place of kitchen roll (cut up old towels or t-shirts), cloths for washing in the shower or bath. All these items can be rinsed in a cold wash and then washed in the washing machine at 60 °C using biological powder and they will be pristine ready for reusing.

 

There is a huge amount of other changes that can be made by humans in order to reduce our use of plastic. These, that I listed above are just small changes that anyone can make not only will you see a huge reduction in the waste that leaves your house but you will also feel that you have made a big difference to the future of our planet.

 

Deirdre practical tips to help reduce your plastic usage

Did you know it is  Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics? To find out more about this global movement check out the https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/ website.

[1] 2018 Europa Report https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-eurostat-news/-/EDN-20180422-1?inheritRedirect=true

[2] Irish Times https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/half-of-young-irish-women-struggling-to-afford-sanitary-products-study-finds-1.3534683

 

NCCWN Donegal are always looking for women to share their stories and looking for women to write features on topics of their choice which we will profile as part of our Women’s Lives, Women’s Voices’ series.

Putting Women’s Equality Centre Stage

WEAR PRESS RELEASE 2017.pngThe NCCWN Donegal Women’s Network warmly invites you to attend their WEAR (Women’s Equality Awareness Raising) seminar, an event which is part of a wider project that the Network has been delivering this year.   This seminar will be held in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny on 28th September 2017 from 12.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. everyone welcome.

In 2017 it remains a reality that globally women and girls can often face gender-based discrimination which increases their risk of experiencing poverty, violence, poor health and a lack of an education. While research also shows us there is a link between development, poverty eradication and women’s equality.

To create awareness to this issue and support women’s equality NCCWN-Donegal Women’s Network, developed The WEAR project, with the funding support of the educational development awareness, EU Ladder Project.

Since April the WEAR project held a 5-week workshop series in Letterkenny, working with women from across Donegal, where participants looked at topics on poverty, health, education, gender based violence and decision-making, through interactive activities and group discussions.

Working with young people is critical if we are to influence change and embed gender equality as a core value within our society.

Through the WEAR project over 80 Transition Year Students from Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana  and Moville Community College participated in a ‘Gender Equality and Development’ awareness workshop.  As both schools have Global Development incorporated into their curriculum the students who participated in WEAR  now have a better understanding of gender equality to inform their reflective learning and development.

Educational Development is about increasing awareness and understanding of the rapidly changing, inter-dependent and unequal world in which we live. The WEAR project has afforded the participants to learn about the structures and systems that impact on their lives and the connections of these to those in developing countries. While providing the opportunity for people to engage in analysis and reflection; recognising local action can assist and sustain global development to help to create a just and more equal world.

The WEAR seminar will share and reflect on the projects learning and look at the ways as a community we can help advance women’s equality locally and globally.

To book a place, please contact: NCCWN Donegal Women’s Network, 6 Tír Chonaill Street, Donegal Town. Tel No: 0749722790 Email: donwomnet@eircom.net