Health, March 19, 2020, 11:34 a.m.

Plans for 2020

Author: riaan@wecanchange.co.za

The world is closed! That’s how it feels today as I am writing this. We’re in the middle of Stage 4 Load Shedding (I’m in South Africa and writing the old-fashioned way). The global markets have crashed and toilet paper has become a rare commodity.

Travel banns are in place, the tourist & airline industries will be decimated and all because of a virus and what seems to me a lack of basic hygiene and common sense.

If you haven’t heard this before WASH YOUR HANDS, COUGH OR SNEEZE INTO YOUR HAND, TISSUE OR ELBOW, DON’T SPIT AND BLOW YOUR NOSE INTO A TISSUE, DISPOSE OF TISSUES AND FACE MASKS IN A SAFE WAY.

Speaking of face masks, they don’t help if you don’t wear them properly – COVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE!!

Maybe this virus is exactly what we need to rethink what we are doing to the environment and what our role is in managing daily interactions.

I was at a conference recently where the venue offered delegates both paper and porcelain cups. We were discussing a variety of issues including environmental affairs so one would think that the paper cups would be avoided but no!

I specifically asked one delegate to please use a porcelain cup instead of the 2 stacked paper cups she was about to use. I even explained why. Her response was that it was certainly not her problem. I should speak to the Hotel to remove the option and she would only stop using paper cups when the government banned them. Did I mention that she was a Government representative?

This was an AHA moment for me. We love our rights but refuse to acknowledge our obligations. Nothing is ever our problem, it is always up to someone else. Convenience is king – regardless of the long term consequences. It saddens me and I wonder what it is going to take to change hearts and minds.

We come across the very same resistance when we try to convince menstruators that sustainable and washable pads or menstrual cups are far more eco-friendly that disposable pads. The response from some quarters is almost aggressive and whilst I fully agree that our product is not a one size solution for everyone you should at least consider it as an alternative. In our opinion a highly effective and competitive alternative.

This year we are embarking on educating about our product and why it is your responsibility to make an informed decision about which products you use because when all is said and done we are all accountable.

It is not someone else’s problem.

We have a long list of excuses about why washable pads are not being used, some are valid and some just downright idiotic. We are going to deal with them one at a time. Starting in our next newsletter and then posted in our BLOG.

If you’d like to add to the reason why you won’t wear them, please let me know so I can either educate you or take it to heart and improve the product.

If you have any ideas on how we can educate and influence menstruators to take responsibility for their choices, please email us, we’d love to hear from you.

I think it was John Lennon who said 'Life is what happens to you while you're planning another' and so far 2020 is kicking our plans into 2021! 

With all this uncertainty we know one thing for sure women and girls will continue to have their period. This makes our job even more important.