So today is Groundhog day and you may be forgiven for thinking, really, isn’t that every day at the minute? Or perhaps you’ve been reading my posts on Instagram and you’re thinking to yourself, fecking groundhog day again, she’s still on about the bloody environment, for the twentieth time this month. You see, over January I came over all David Attenborourgh and did a series of posts about reducing waste. They were supposed to be daily updates, but I lacked the fortitude. Hell, that was one LONG, torturous month, wasn’t it? But in addition to my being tired and fed up, I didn’t want to annoy people by posting every single day. Life, you may have noticed, is a bit on the shite side right now, and you are probably already pulled in seven different directions, and having someone harangue you about saving up your crisp packets might just have you on sipping gin with your toast of a morning. When stretched to your absolute limit, the thought of washing out period pants might just be beyond you. And that’s ok. As the statistics show, a million people making a few changes is better than a few doing everything.
However, I thought the posts might be useful for those of you who may have some extra time or if your change in circumstances allows more flexibility. Last spring for example, I sent LSB off to B&Q to buy a water butt. We’d thought of getting one before but hadn’t bothered, then a neighbour mentioned how easy it was to get one and install it one. Since we had such a dry spell during the lockdown we made it a priority. Had we not both been at home so much, I know we still wouldn’t have one.
It was the same with the period pants – it was easier for me to make the switch to using them all the time because I wasn’t in school. No one wants to test drive bamboo pads when you’re standing in front of a class of year 12 boys and discover you have blood trickling down your leg. (Might I add here that this is MIGHTY UNLIKELY, because you’ll be changing them just like any other sanitary wear, as your flow dictates. The Mothership though, if she’s reading this, may be quite likely to have a mini-stroke: ‘Is there any NEED, Helen,’ she will say.)
Do you know what I really want though? For all this bullshit about periods being mystifying or embarrassing or dirty to be quashed underfoot. That is the DREAM.
But today, I am talking cardboard, or as those media types are now referring to it as: ‘beige gold’. We have an actual global shortage of paper, because we’ve all been buying our booze and frankly, everything else online. We won’t have any fecking forests left at this rate. I also believe I’m married to the main culprit, because LSB, despite my protestations, is never done ordering random shit off the internet. Often from Amazon too, and you know how much I fecking hate Amazon. I mean surely, SURELY, some clever people could work out how to reduce the packaging they use or have a returns policy organised with Prime? Those vans are never off our streets, so would it be too much of a stretch to hand them back some of the boxes and say, ‘give that another whirl?’ It would be easier than say, chopping down swathes of the Amazon? Just a thought. A friend ordered a pair of knitting needles, and not only were they delivered in a box large enough to fit one of my children in, but they were so wrapped in yards of paper. ‘What sort of eejit did that?’ I wondered to myself. Probably some poor fecker who’s been working an 18 hour shift in a warehouse and pouring every remaining ounce of their energy into maintaining the will to live, I imagine.
Anyway, rant over. Hopefully you don’t all think of me as a sanctimonious git running round in a sack cloth (I know it’s nearly Lent so I now have the image of John the Baptist in my head.) These are strange and frightening times but some of the comfort I glean is from studies which show a reduction in carbon emissions and the fact we can hear the birds better as their wee cheeps and caws aren’t drowned out by all the traffic. If we can at least keep up some of our efforts, then a tiny bit of good may be salvaged from this period of gloom.