With Sir David Attenborough, Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg bringing plastic-pollution into the limelight, whatever you buy this Christmas, it simply has to be plastic-free. But if you bought everyone refillable water bottles or beeswax wrap last year? How can you give something meaningful, planet-friendly and yet original this year? What are other plastic-free gifts out there?
We have been searching the internet to find the best plastic-free gifts, and this really is a hot topic, it really is hard to choose what to read. Luckily our 1% for the Planet partner, City to Sea, published a great blog on having a plastic-free Christmas last week. The key message was to ‘buy less and value what you have a little bit more’.
Value what you have and only buy what you need. A practical gift is the answer here, because, whilst the reality is we all need very little, Christmas is a time when we want to give gifts to our family and loved ones.
At Mondays, we suggest the gift of confidence for the girls and women in your life… A Menarche Kit is, as Louise Watts mentioned in her review, “a lovely gift that adds a little luxury to an otherwise tedious chore” and at the same time opens up the conversation, on what is for some an awkward topic, menstruation.
“The only way to improve on this communication (referring to the taboo of periods) is to make it normal. Periods are normal for every female in the world. They are essential for reproduction and the world would not survive without them!”
‘Menarche’ describes the pivotal point in a girl’s life when she gets her first period, it typically happens between the ages of 10 and 15, but can also be experienced as early as 8. In many households, this topic is not openly talked about, and girls often lack knowledge on the topic and which period products to choose.
Nancy Saddington, Mondays co-founder, says:
“Historically, ancient cultures would joyfully celebrate a girl’s ‘menarche’; we’d like to encourage a cultural shift away from what has become an awkward and embarrassing moment, to one fuelled by a sense of pride.”
“The Menarche Kit is a great way to gift girls something that will prepare them for the start of a new chapter in their life. It’s a way to open the conversation between parents and daughters and facilitate, what some feel are embarrassing, discussions. We want to normalise and initiate that discussion, after all, it’s a natural development in life.”
Mondays are the first organic cotton period subscription service to be 100% plastic-free, even removing the plastic tear strip from its delivery boxes and making sure the usual plastic backing found on menstrual pads is replaced with compostable Mater-Bi®.
Going plastic-free, and having an eco-friendly period, from that all-important first period is a great way to start for two reasons – the environment and personal health.
Plastic doesn’t biodegrade and so the plastic in each period product will be around for 450 years. To bring this to life, if Jane Austen had used a disposable pad, it would still be here today!
Put into context, it’s pretty shocking: Women use an estimated 11,000 disposable period products over the 450 periods they each have in their lifetime. And this is just for one woman – so it’s unsurprising to hear that tampons, pads and panty liners amount to more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year in the UK.
Plastic-free period products are also arguably better for our health.
In addition to the fact that plastic period pads cause many women to suffer skin irritations, there is also widespread concern about the chemicals used in the manufacturing process of non-organic tampons.
Organic cotton is a natural material that is grown without the use of toxic chemicals and is free of any dyes, bleach, or fragrances; meaning it’s kinder to our skin and body.
In the words of Louise Watts, in addition to all the positive environmental factors, “The contents are all beautifully packed and well presented. The packaging is very pretty with feminine colours and the logo is clearly visible. There is something very special about the contents, they make you feel important… they are a classy product that girls would be proud to carry around.”
Why not use the opportunity this Christmas to open two conversations at home? Periods AND Plastic-free consumption.