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28 Oct

I have found another way how to reduce my carbon footprints, to save money and apparently my health, too. A menstrual cup.

I did hear about it years ago from a friend of mine, but I wasn’t ready for it then. I pretty much imagined that a glass of red wine would be out of question forever and ever. But then I learnt about the problems tampons can cause, such as toxic shock syndrome, dryness, irritation, pelvic inflammatory disease, even cervical cancer and about their impact on environment and I was prepared for the sacrifice. Guess what, I still enjoy my red wine as much as before! Of course, silly. Online reading proved to me that I wasn’t the only one with gory stories never to be told, that it was the part of the learning process, so be it. Have you learnt anything without pain, effort and persistence? I didn’t.


The initial cost may be quite a shock but when you consider that for 10 years you won’t need to buy a new one and do your calculations on how much the tampons and pads would cost you in that period of time, then it comes rather cheaply. And what’s more, you won’t be filling the landfill! The statistics say that ’20 billion pads, tampons and applicators are sent to North American landfills annually’ alone. I believe The Mother will be more than grateful to us if we all choose reusable essentials.

I did learn to use this tiny silicone item in the end. I persisted in the name of eco/nom/log/y and I do love it as much as other women who have tried and used it and shared their stories on the forums and blogs. Some admitted that tampons weren’t the best option for them, causing them the pain, some were complaining about the discomfort and hygiene problems but all of them agreed that menstrual cup was the best solution. I am one of them. Will you care to join us?

About the writer: Zdena comes from Slovakia but has made Wales her second home, that is when she is not travelling, which she can’t live without. Two important things in her life are books and Scrabble and she also loves world cinema

Bad seed

30 Sep

Imagine the taste of the freshly picked tomato. Or a strawberry. Or a bean. The richness, the smell! Now imagine that having them would be illegal. I’m not kidding. I wish I was talking sci-fi, but there is a company, Monsanto that is trying to make that happen. The multinational that is producing genetically modified seed (GMO) and weed killer called Roundup.

At the moment, they are trying to ban the labelling of all genetically modified food around the world. Why? Because people are aware that it’s good for nothing and prefer to eat organic. Well, the company knows the truth as much as the people who have already had the opportunity to try it.

Watch Genetic Roulette, the documentary in which mothers, paediatricians, immunologists, dieticians, farmers and scientists share their experience. None of them have anything good to say about GMO. We learn that since GMO was introduced in the US in 1996, the stomach inflammation induced illnesses have been escalating. The inflammation may cause cancer, kidney disease, digestive disorders, diabetes, thyroid disease, allergies, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease and/or heart attacks. Since then, there have been more children born with autism than ever.

The stories of the farmers around the world are scary too. They talk about the cattle, normally docile, but after fed GMO, start to become agitated and irritated, their stomachs blow up and then they  die.

Alarming messages came from the areas sprayed with Roundup. There was 70x increase in birth defects, miscarriages and infertility in cattle as well as people.

In 0:50:56, we see the back of the seed packaging. ‘DANGER’ is followed with the list of warnings (and the list seems not to be exhausted): ‘keep out of reach of children, do not use for food, feed or oil processing purpose, treated seed exposed on soil surface may be hazardous to birds’ – and those are the seeds that we will eventually eat! I cannot imagine that anything wholesome can grow out of them. How can we not be alarmed? I wonder if the company dares to eat their own invention.

What’s more, the philanthropist Monsanto took their expensive patented Bt cotton to one of the poorest countries in the world, India, whose income is cotton dependant. People believed that the seed would make them rich. Sawing it with their bare hands, they developed flu-like symptoms, allergies, rashes, itching. Their cattle, for centuries grazing on the crops suddenly got sick in thousands and died. Another blow was the unreliability of the seed. Instead of doubling their yielding, they lost their income but nevertheless, they were forced to pay high interest, which they could not afford. Their solution was suicide. Three quarters of all suicide cases in India in recent years were the Bt farmers.

In South Africa, they grew GMO corn for their domestic animals. They developed problems with milk production and reproduction and their life spam was shortened. Animals suffered from diarrhoea, infertility and respiratory problems. They even became cannibalistic. And they died.

Corn is a staple food in Africa. Eating GMO corn brought the upper respiratory problems, flu-like symptoms, running noses, severe headaches, and eyes of the people didn’t track.

GMO has had the same impact in Argentina.

Monsanto’s website claims that their aspirations are purely humanitarian. They are here to feed the world when in fact, all they want is to take over the food production. Shall we talk terminator seed? ”If you control the food supply, you control the people”, said Henry Kissinger. And make millions, Monsanto adds. The fairytale as sweet as honey is their commitment to sustainable agriculture, human rights, providing support to research, funding educational projects, working with governments, when the truth is that their ‘working with governments’ is lobbying to get what they want. ‘Support to research’ means buying universities so only information supporting their case can get out. The scientists who dare to speak out against are penalised, ridiculed and sacked. From 1:00:04 of the documentary we learn what happened to the scientists like Dr. Shiv Chopra, Dr. Arpad Pusztai. Dr. Andres Carrasco, Ignacio Chapela, PhD, Irina Ermakova, PhD, Terje Traavik, PhD.

They refuse us the right to information, freedom of choice, democracy, nutritional healthy food, so any talk about human rights, honesty, ethical behaviour and respect is more than hypocritical.


They claim they want to feed the world. Yes, the world is hungry, but because food is being destroyed instead of delivered. Well, there are other factors for it, too, of course. Apparently, we can’t afford to distribute it. My reasoning is: if  we stopped putting money in advertisement, lobby and war, then we would definitely be able to feed the world.

If you feel that the activities of Monsanto don’t make sense and they should be stopped, there are petitions to sign as well as the world-wide (in several cities around the UK as well) March against Monsanto on 12th October that you are welcome to join.

About the Writer: Zdena comes from Slovakia but has made Wales her second home, that is when she is not travelling, which she can’t live without. Two important things in her life are books and Scrabble and she also loves world cinema.

Body Shapes

19 Aug

I have not written much in a while, but this intrigued me on a slightly personal level, so here we go. While I was browsing the web I stumbled onto this online article on the topic of the ever stale area of women, our bodies, our weight and fashion: “Can sewing change your body image?”

So by the power of sewing we can love our bodies? – As a knitter, I think this lady might be onto something. Karen Ball who writes for the Guardian, goes on to talk about her body issues as a teenager shopping in Dorothy Perkins, and how by creating her own clothes she was able to become confident and comfortable.

“When did you first start judging yourself by your dress size? I acutely remember standing in Dorothy Perkins as a teenager and realising I could no longer fit into a size 14. I scrabbled through the hangers and quickly felt the thunderbolt of fashion strike me down. Dottie P didn’t do a size 16. I was 15 years old and the high street was telling me that I no longer had the right to engage with fashion.”

I think we all have and still go through this non-acceptance of fashion. I too am finding it hard to find clothing that fits and looks nice but I am also finding that I have started to notice clothing in stores smell slightly chemically *cough* Primark, Top Shop, H&M*cough*.  I am myself a loveable size 16, and yet most stores still do not cater for voluptuous bodies so to speak. Top Shop I found doesn’t think for all body shapes, Primark I will admit with open arms has lovely bargains, but I have to buy clothes 1-2 sizes bigger to fit…*cuts out size label*… I will not even start to mention H&M…

I would love to make my own dresses, tops, trousers, jackets, knitwear products – I mean I should, I have a degree within Knitwear…*sigh* But all this making is rather time consuming or is it that I am being lazy? I have thought that when I tried on suit jackets in New Look, certain areas didn’t fit correctly, now it’s not difficult to sew in some ease (ease is when you are sewing your arm pattern piece to the jacket pattern piece and create a slight gathered effect at the top where your shoulders start, this way you can then ease out the stitching once connected, this in turn allows for room when being worn), and I have even noticed in some clothes that clear elastic has been sewn into the seams of the garments. Obviously I have only noticed these HUGE little annoyances thanks from learning tricks of the trade so to speak from my course at uni; as well as experimenting on my own. I find it rather irritating that clothes today are not finished correctly and depending on the type of garment certain edges are falling apart when you pick them up, or have not been finished at all.

When looking around River Island they had these awful foam dresses… the edges had been left raw, after a couple of washes you will not have a clean cut looking dress but a tacky one…well maybe it will improve the look?

The point I am making splits into two:

First is that I think the standards of how clothing is made within factories need to change. Yes standards have changed within factories so that the workers are being paid correctly and children are not employed but obviously this is still an issue. Yet it is the way clothing is not cut correctly from source which causes further issues down the assembly line for example: these factories have huge cutters that just cut through a mass amount of fabric which in turn the workers just go and over lock everything together. They are not cutting out the correct sizes for each body size, in fact they are over locking off the excess amount of fabric not needed for different sizes or for us bigger girls not bothering at all to have correct measurements as I mentioned previously suit jackets in New Look.

Second; that the media has caused us women to feel inadequate with how we look and how our bodies develop and grow, we are constantly hounded by the Media throwing diets, weight plans, the gym and the correct volume of food at us daily. Why can we not just be any size we like or eat anything we fancy and not have to worry that this cube of cheese will give me a gazillion calories. I feel that change is light years away but maybe we can all try and start. Like myself; I keep putting off making myself something. I always moan about the way clothing is made yet I do not go and make something better. Perhaps when I gain motivation and a little inspiration I can actually get round to making something to prove my points…maybe.

About the writer: Kera-anne is currently in her final year at London College of Fashion studying Surface Textiles specialising in Knitwear who loves nothing more than baking, writing and playing the occasional Nintendo game. She wants to give something new to future artists who are yet to taste the confusing fruit that is the fashion industry! When working on a project she tends to go for the darker viewpoints as the work always leans toward the obscurer side of art.

Apillable or not?

10 Jul

It seems to be fact that more young people are on antidepressants than our older generations were. But is this because we genuinely need them, and if so, why is our need greater than that of our elders? Or is it that doctors are just more willing to prescribe tablets to patients, making our generation a more dependent one on drugs?

Tablets actually help. That is a fact, otherwise there would be no need for them. They simply would not be prescribed. Whether or not doctors are more willing to hand them out does not matter in a way.

We have to ask ourselves why so many should be healthy young people are in a position to have to visit their doctor and therefore be prescribed medication. I myself was put on antidepressants after a serious illness took hold of me. If I’m honest, I needed them. That was a couple of years ago and since I have requested to come off of them but was told to wait until a stress-free time. I have now only in the last couple of months been able to stop taking them. My doctors were, in my opinion, sensible in keeping me on them until I was ready to come off them by having a ready lifestyle.

Yes, more young people are taking antidepressants but is that because life is becoming more difficult and stressful than past times or is it that people are just finding it harder to cope? Why is this however? In previous generations there were world wars etc. Was there not a need then? The answer is no. There is always a need, people always have problems and issues but not everyone chooses to take medication for them. However, psychological illnesses weren’t always diagnosed back then, for example: many soldiers suffering from shell shock in WW1 were fact suffering from PTSD, though many were accused of cowardice and shot. Does this then mean that there were a lot more depressed people that just weren’t diagnosed?

I saw on television a story about a girl who had visited her GPs on a totally irrelevant matter and was put on antidepressants. Yes in this case I believe the doctor was too easy in giving the girl the tablets as a solution but we do not know the finer details of the appointment. The girl may have in fact had underlying issues in which she needed to be put on the medication for.

Why is this in fact an issue? In this day and age, science has progressed leaps and bounds for these very reasons. Why not take advantage of what is already there for us? Why is there an issues if it helps someone’s problem?

In conclusion, in my own personal view, yes everyone has problems, some people’s are big and some are small but if a solution is there, why should the people who find it harder to cope, not have them in order to make their lives easier?


About the Writer: Becky has just finished a degree in English and Creative Writing and is very happy with her 2:1. She is friendly, bubbly and just so happens to be the co-creator of Yellow Bunting. She hopes you enjoy it and that you get involved!

Recovering from an eating disorder…

6 Feb

Anorexia, bulimia, pica and many more are serious eating disorders that I’m sure you have all seen articles, documentaries and campaigns about. The need to tackle these illnesses is exceedingly important, however what happens when someone has recovered? It’s not always about being able to pig out on McDonalds and other fast food places as some may think. Recovery however from something like this involves a long hard road where the suffering doesn’t change overnight.

Being recovered from an eating disorder may mean that you can now go and enjoy the foods that have for so long been the enemy but that does not mean that it is easy, nor does it mean that said person can just binge eat like their friends. It takes courage and time before the sufferer may feel comfortable to eat to excess or even eat in front of others. Remember the sufferer has gone through months/years of turmoil in relation to food and while they have recovered, they still may be slightly anxious of ‘getting back to normal’ so help them to see that everything isn’t as scary as they may at first think and be there for them.

Parts of the eating disorder may arise if the person is under particular stress or worry but it is important to be there for your friend/relative/acquaintance and remind them why they recovered in the first place. It does not mean that they are going back to old habits but they should be watched just to make sure a stressful time doesn’t bring the on the onset of the illness.

My message to past sufferers who are now gaining weight: it is better, you are now becoming healthy and it is normal to be gaining weight. You know healthy doesn’t mean fat like you used to think. Don’t let a small amount of weight gain allow the illness to reoccur. You recovered for a reason, don’t let just a little healthy weight gain affect all that hard work you did in recovery for you and the people around you. You are not now fat, you are normal, you are able to enjoy life again and food, socialising and chilling. Besides, you can lose some, not to the degree you did before, but it is normal for your body weight to go up and down as you enjoy life. Don’t let a little bit of weight gain ruin so much hard work, think of what you did to overcome the disorder, think of why you did it.

About the Writer: Becky has just finished a degree in English and Creative Writing and is very happy with her 2:1. She is friendly, bubbly and just so happens to be the co-creator of Yellow Bunting. She hopes you enjoy it and that you get involved!

The after Christmas decisions

14 Jan


We all go on one at some point in our lives, well we say we do but then the choccies and other goodies in the fridge entice us to leave it just one more day. Some people however take dieting that one step further and this article is to help guide you into what to do to safely lose those unwanted pounds.

First of all, starving yourself is not the right thing to do. Yes, it may help to lose a little initially but over time it can actually mean that you put on more weight when you resume a normal eating pattern. Starving yourself can also lead to longer serious illnesses like eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa which can have dreadful consequences such as fatalities, loss of the ability to have children, osteoporosis and a lot more side effects.

You may think that you’ve heard this all before and it could never effect you but as a 14 stone teenager that’s what I thought. A couple of years later and I was seeing a dietician every week, on all kinds of tablets and having my bloods taken and my heart monitored. Someone recently said to me, ‘I’m not stupid enough to let that happen to me, I couldn’t, I enjoy my food too much’. Well I was quite overweight and it still happened to me so remember it can happen to anyone so never think you are exempt, all of us have to look after ourselves.

With the new year now and it being after Christmas, more and more adverts, magazine covers, billboards etc. will start showing themselves telling you how happy celebrities are to lose weight when in fact the picture of their ‘new self’ is airbrushed to the max and doesn’t look anything like real life. In fact while writing this article, one of these adverts has shown up already on tv. Don’t let these companies and ideas rip you off. Yes, be healthy but also live. Don’t let them all win, be happy with your body, be healthy and enjoy life.


About the Writer: Becky has just finished a degree in English and Creative Writing and is very happy with her 2:1. She is friendly, bubbly and just so happens to be the co-creator of Yellow Bunting. She hopes you enjoy it and that you get involved!

Air on a G-String: Is it harmful?

6 Dec

‘In many cultures, human flatulence in public is regarded as embarrassing, but, depending on context, can also be considered humorous. People will often strain to hold in the passing of gas when in polite company, or position themselves to conceal the noise and scent. In other cultures[examples needed], it may be no more embarrassing than coughing.’Wikipedia

Flatulence. Or to put in normal everyday speak, farting. Go on, blush. You know you want to. It’s not nice, can have a bad smell and can cause serious embarrassment to the perpetrator but is it normal? Is there any need to actually be embarrassed or pretend that it isn’t you?

Recently I was out with a friend and with a bad stomach for the past few days I was hoping that all would be fine. However silent but deadly doesn’t even begin to describe what happened and I couldn’t even bear to admit that it was me especially when my friend said that she hoped she could eat her food when it came.

A random dodgy stomach every so often isn’t the worst thing in the world but does holding it in actually cause you harm? A few years ago when I had quite a few problems, a side effect was that I had bad wind. My friends would all lock me in rooms and hold the door shut while I sat there laughing, trying to hide my embarrassment. Yes it was disgusting for them but they never thought how difficult it was for me to actually go through it and my friends made me feel disgusting. I know they can smell and I’d be the first person to own up to opening a window when someone let’s one off but it’s not always the person’s fault and while everyone can have a laugh at the eggy smells, don’t go too over the top because they can’t always help it.

It actually used to cause me a physical pain when I tried to keep it in and possible made it worse. So what does happen when you try and hold in those wafters? Take a look at this but if any of it is even remotely true, I’d rather a tiny risk of my

friends noticing a little smell then I would the ‘pathological distention of the bowel’ or ‘hemorrhoids’.

screenshot from here

screenshot from here

About the writer: Becky has just finished a degree in English and Creative Writing and is very happy with her 2:1. She is friendly, bubbly and just so happens to be the co-creator of Yellow Bunting. She hopes you enjoy it and that you get involved!