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October 2018

Sustainable Living

Your New Best Friend – Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cup. A word that is no longer an unknown concept to most women in Singapore. A word that to this day is still a topic that most of us shy away from. A word that possesses potentially great power to contribute to the conservation to the environment.

We recently sat down with Pritha, founder of the Soul Cup, to share with us her experience of incorporating the menstrual cup into her life. Pritha’s experience with menstrual cups started about 5 years back – when it was not much heard of in Singapore. After seeing an advertisement for menstrual cups in 2013, she had it shipped from the US. As she was travelling around India and South East Asia for work, she was willing to try anything that would make her period more comfortable. Since then, she became a menstrual cup ambassador, working to spread the message and awareness of the menstrual cup and making it more accessible to women in Singapore.

While there are many reasons to “cup-vert”, here are a few of Pritha’s personal favourite reasons:

1. You Do Not Feel Anything and You Can Do Anything You Want With It

The most commonly asked question about a menstrual cup is, “Don’t you feel it in your body?”. Believe it or not, the answer is no! As the menstrual cup only comes in contact with the area free of sensory nerves, there is little to no feeling when you are wearing it. Sometimes, you might even forget that you are wearing it, unlike the usual pads that hang beneath you. But do remember to give the cups a wash, no matter any circumstances, before using them.

Furthermore, wearing sanitary pads limits your movement and activities. You cannot swim and it feels uncomfortable playing nearly any sport. Menstrual cups, on the other hand, give you the liberty to swim, do yoga, play sports and do whatever you are comfortable doing on your periods.

2. Free of Chemicals!

Most pads and tampons use toxic and harmful chemicals for absorption. Certain tests reveal that high absorbent pads may contain dioxins, synthetic fibres and petrochemical additives. Chlorine bleach is also often used to give pads and tampons the super “white and clean” look. So, it is might not the wisest choice to use these items for your intimates.  A menstrual cup is made of medical grade silicone which is relatively more inert and doesn’t react with your body.

3. Easy to Clean like ABC

How to wash your menstrual cups? Well, it is done in 1 to 2 simple steps!

As your body fluids do not stick easily to the cups, they can be washed out with water. Flush the cup with water down into the toilet or the shower and you are good to use it again.

If you are emptying and reinserting your menstrual cup in a public toilet, you can clean it with some water (just carry a small bottle) or special menstrual cup wipes or clean toilet paper before reinserting it.

4. Killing Two Birds in One Stone – Benefits the Environment and Your Pocket

A menstrual cup is reusable and hence you need to buy just 1 and you can use it for up to 10 years. Not only do you no longer have to pay for every period, but you also reduce waste that goes directly into the . Given that you use a menstrual cup for 10 years, you could save over thousands of pads / tampons from going into landfill and you can do the math on how much money that saves you over 10 years. Savings are definitely much more than the initial investment in the menstrual cup!

 

Convinced to become a cup-vert now? Soul Cup is giving you a special discount of $5 off your menstrual cup purchase. Simply head over to the website here and key in the code SUSTAIN5 for your discount. If you have more questions about the menstrual cup, head over to our Facebook page and drop us a message! We love answering all your questions, no matter how basic or silly they may seem.

 

Others

Ecobricks: Plastic Solved

There are 25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean and every day, each person in Singapore throws away 13 plastic bags.  Yes, that amount is no longer a shocker to us anymore. We are all well aware of the dire state of plastic pollution happening in our oceans and how plastic is now the number one enemy of everyone.

So, what if we told you, there is a way to reduce the amount of plastic being thrown into the ocean? Plus, you can actually do it from the comfort of your home and it requires only 2 minutes of your time?

What exactly is this magical method that holds the potential of solving the top global problem now? Well, the answer is – an Ecobrick!

Here is the basic information you need to know about these magical building blocks:

 

What is an Ecobrick?

An Ecobrick is essentially a reusable building block created by solid non-biodegradable waste placed into a plastic bottle to a set density. By packing the bottles with a set density, it makes them suitable building blocks for virtually any construction. They can also be packed with other non-biological un-recyclables that, uncontained, are toxic to the environment (i.e. styrofoam, wires, small batteries, etc.).

Ecobricks are a sustainable way to reuse non-biodegradable plastic waste as the plastic waste are regarded as a long-lasting and durable material. Hence, keeping plastic out of the ecosystem and prevents the contamination of the environment.

Ecobricks are used to make many things such as furniture, walls and buildings. It allows communities and companies to get control of their plastic waste to create modular furniture, garden spaces, walls and even full-scale buildings.

 

How does it help the environment?

  • EcoBricks prevent plastic waste from disrupting the ecosystem: 

    Usually, when thrown away, plastic breaks down into tiny pieces and contaminates the area where it is. EcoBricks seal the plastic away preventing the buildup of toxic gases emitted during the degradation of the plastic, such as methane. PET bottles are perfect for sealing away the plastic because they have an incredible longevity and protect the contents from UV rays.

  • Ecobricking raises ecological consciousness: 

    We often do not think about the afterlife of our discarded plastic bottles. Ecobricking addresses our short-sightedness, as making Ecobricks demands time and dedication, it leads to questions on the uses of plastic.

  • Ecobricks are a low energy solution to plastic:

    Recycling isn’t necessarily the best solution since the facilities demand technology, funds and a substantial amount of human energy. It also involves transportation and the waste can travel around the world before reaching its destination only to end up in a saturated recycling plant. EcoBricks don’t require all that fuss, with anyone having the ability to make their own Ecobricks. It is a simple solution to a complex problem which can be applied anywhere by everyone.

 

How do I make an Ecobrick?

Follow the following steps and you can be an owner of an Ecobrick!

1. Get your plastics ready

Only use clean, dry plastic or else microbiologicals beings can grow and form methane in the bottle. If there is any food, oil or dirt on your plastic, be sure to wash then dry. Clean and dry plastic includes styrofoam, bags, packaging, straws, cellophane and is basically anything else that is not recyclable.

Do note that you are not supposed to put any glass, metal or biodegradables into the bottle.

2. Choose a bottle

Find 1.5 litres or 500ml bottle and you are ready to start!

3. Find your perfect stick

Find the correct stick which will allow you to pack the plastic well, it should be twice the height of your bottle, with a slightly rounded tip and with a diameter roughly one third the width of a standard bottle opening– about 6mm

4. Get creative with your ecobrick

The first piece of plastic should be soft plastic with a solid colour, so be creative as it will make your trash look colourful!

5. Pack your bottle!

Pack your bottle with plastic, alternating between soft and hard plastic to maximise the density. The smaller the pieces, the denser you’ll get, so cut up big plastics into smaller pieces!

6. Weigh your Ecobrick

Minimum Ecobrick weight = Bottle volume x 0.33

Minimum density goals are essential to ensure the quality of ecobricks as it helps to ensure good constructions, make the most of the volume and energize the social spread of ecobricks.

Do be careful as Ecobricks should not be too soft as they will not be reliable enough for construction.

 

Donate your Ecobricks!

Now that you have built your ecobricks, what next? Donate them to us!

We are collecting your eco bricks to be used as an art installation piece at The Conscious Festival on 3rd and 4th November of 2018 at Parkroyal Pickering Street. After the event, the bottles will be kept for other outreach purposes.

Requirements:

We require your 1.5-litre bottle (preferably mineral water or soft drink models)! We need 12 of them to create meaningful modules that can be created into furniture such as pillars, chairs or tables.

Bottles should be stuffed tightly with items with scrap items (preferably not recyclable items), such as scotch tape, small plastic bags, stickers, labels, wax paper. If it is possible, do help us to include items with blue packaging for our underwater theme. The only thing that cannot be placed inside are items that are wet, or contaminated with food.

If you have smaller sized plastic bottles (500ml), that is fine too! Empty plastic bottles are accepted as well!

Our goal: 200 of 1.5 litre eco bricks!

Collection Date: Please stuff the items into the bottles and pass them to us during our event on the 21st of October 2018!