Archive for March 29, 2008

Goods 4 Girls

This is basically just a plea for money – but in a good cause. I wouldn’t normally write about charities and try to part you from your hard-earned dosh, as really it’s up to you what you do with it, but I would like to draw your attention to this amazing and inspiring initiative!

In the USA, there were some adverts recently by companies who make disposable tampons and sanitary towels to donate freebies to girls in Africa who would otherwise miss school because of their period… Which is a fine and noble gesture (probably :-S ) but in many of these areas there are no landfills or programmes for dealing with solid waste, and most rubbish is burnt. The synthetic components of the pads and tampons, plus the plastic packaging, will emit pollutants when burnt, nor will the products (except possibly cotton tampons) or packaging biodegrade. I’ve visited several countries in Africa and you can have it on good authority from me that the last thing most places in Africa need is more half-burnt plastic lying around!

Goods 4 Girls are sending out washable, reusable pads, which (as they generally have a waterproof barrier) would allow girls to carry on attending school and doing regular activities more than with rags or newspaper, which is what many use at the moment. The aid organisations that Goods 4 Girls are involved with will ensure that the communities where pads are given out have adequate water for washing the pads.

Also, as these pads last for ages, unlike disposables, it doesn’t create ongoing dependence on companies and aid organisations to continue meeting girls’ monthly needs, and also doesn’t create a situation where the girls get accustomed to using disposables and then have to buy them once they have outgrown the school programmes. (Nestle, anyone???)

You can find out more about the project from their website, and also find out how you can help – you could give money directly if you like (through Paypal is probably easiest unless you’re in the US), but you can also buy one or more pads (many of the sellers will donate an extra one for every four or so bought to donate; also, some of them are on etsy, where you can use Paypal) or make your own and send them. (As the charity is based in America, atm they want you to send them there rather than directly to the organisations in Africa as this makes shipping, imports etc much easier.)

Crunchy Chicken, who started this whole thing off, recently wrote on her blog that demand is far outstripping supply at the moment, so if you would like to donate anything at all, I’m sure it will be much appreciated.

Oh, and don’t forget Earth Hour at 8 p.m. tonight.


March 29, 2008 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

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The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."