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"Insomnia" - DW campaign promotes freedom and human rights

"Insomnia" - DW campaign promotes freedom and human rights

With a new short film, Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle highlights what keeps autocrats up at night: a free and independent press

Technology
How many plastic bags are in your tampon?

How many plastic bags are in your tampon?

Think you know what’s in your period products? Think again!

Nature
2020 – the year it all changed

2020 – the year it all changed

New campaign from women-led reforestation movement, TreeSisters, presents reforestation as a crucial solution for cooling our planet and preventing future global pandemics

Technology
A decade of opposition to HS2

A decade of opposition to HS2

Why so many people are still taking action and how you can join in

Culture
7 signs the people will defeat factory farming

7 signs the people will defeat factory farming

Cheap meat isn’t your friend. Find out how the transformational movement to improve food will benefit you

Nature
  A Small Farm Future

A Small Farm Future

In a time of uncertainty, what would a truly resilient society look like?

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"Insomnia" - DW campaign promotes freedom and human rights

With a new short film, Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle highlights what keeps autocrats up at night: a free and independent press

For more than 50 years, DW has supported unbiased information and democratic values in over 180 countries worldwide. A working, independent press plays a major role in countries where people and the press are silenced or censored. DW hopes that its new short film and the accompanying campaign will draw attention to this issue and its consequences.

DW strives to cover the complex issues surrounding free speech and media freedom by shedding light on crises, victims of human rights violations and initiatives striving to improve the current situation and fosters a greater debate on these issues.

More people around the world than ever before can easily communicate and access information. But it is easy to forget that there are many places where people who publish dissenting thought are punished and the free flow information is blocked. DW has made fighting censorship a core principle and works consistently to provide people everywhere with the information they need to understand problems and issues affecting their societies.

In many countries, government control of infrastructure can lead to information being censored or cut off all together. That’s why DW has always worked to provide solutions to circumvent censorship and provide information to the people. For example, people in countries whose governments block or restrict access to independent news can now access DW content securely and anonymously with the support of the OTF (Open Technology Fund) and the Tor Project. DW has installed a mirror proxy that will allow dw.com's web content to be accessed through a web address in the Tor network.

Websites accessible through Tor (The Onion Routing) can be recognized by the extension '.onion.' A special browser such as the Firefox-based Tor browser is necessary in order to gain access to the websites. Besides Deutsche Welle, so far only a few media websites such as those of the New York Times and the BBC offer an onion address.

Over the past decade, DW has also been utilizing a censorship circumvention system called Psiphon, which works by using a network of different proxy servers (an intermediary between a user and an online source). With this technology, users in countries like China and Iran have been given the power to access unbiased information from reliable sources.

By engaging in this technology, we have sent a message: DW will never give up trying to promote a free Internetand provide unbiased, quality news and information to ALL audiences around the world.

More information about DW’s mission to provide unbiased information and what they are doing to promote freedom of speech can be viewed at - https://freespeech.dw.com

Technology

How many plastic bags are in your tampon?

Think you know what’s in your period products? Think again!

This week is Environmenstrual Week - a week of action hosted by Wen from 19-25th October - with more than 60 organisations uniting to spread the word about plastic-free, toxic-free period products for all.

Through City to Sea’s award-winning Plastic Free Periods campaign you may be aware of the horrifying amount of plastic in period products, but what about the chemicals associated with- or added to these products? This Environmenstrual Week City to Sea are joining forces with Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF), to uncover the hidden ingredients in our period products.

A shocking new WECF report released during Environmenstrual Week has found some non-organic tampons and pads contain not only pesticide residues but also fragrances and plasticizers. What exactly are these things, and are they harmful for our health?

  • Pesticide residues originate from non-organic cotton (and other non-organic plants) where potentially harmful chemicals are sprayed on crops to kill insects.
  • Fragrances are perfumes added to period products to make them ‘smell nice’, but often have the opposite effect. Chemical fragrances can interfere with the pH balance in the vagina, as well as the balance between good and bad bacteria which help the vagina to stay clean. This can lead to irritation and infection, which in turn may produce more odour! Often the ‘smell’ we associate with periods is actually due to the mixture of oxidised blood (blood out of the body) mixing with these perfumes.
  • Plasticizers are materials that are added to other materials to make them more soft and flexible. Bisphenol A (BPA), parabens and Phthalates are common plasticisers which are known to mimic hormones, especially oestrogen. Bisphenol A (BPA), parabens and Phthalates are common plasticisers which are known to mimic hormones, especially oestrogen. With one pack of pads containing the same amount of plastic as 5 carrier bags, and even a tampon being 6% plastic, that is a lot of plasticizer being used next to, or inside our bodies…

All of these chemicals are known to disrupt the endocrine system (EDC’s), which is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development and reproduction. So should we be putting them in- or close to a highly absorbent area of our body?

What’s even more outrageous is that whilst food and cosmetic manufacturers are required by law to state what the ingredients of their products are on packaging, this is not the case for period product manufacturers. So as you can see from City to Sea’s new video, this information comes as a big shock to most of the population…

Health Adviser for Wen and Independent researcher Helen Lynn said:

“Its staggering to think we still do not know exactly what menstrual products are made of or what toxic chemicals they might contain. Independent research has detected the presence of toxic chemicals which can mimic our hormones ie Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) or are linked to cancer or reproductive disorders. And detected plastics which can leach toxic chemicals and ultimately pollute our environment and harm wildlife. They have no place in products used daily in one of the most absorbent of places, our vaginas.”

Whoever you are, wherever you live, City to Sea believe that you deserve to have access to- and education about period products that don’t harm your health or the planet.

This may all sound very depressing, but the good news is that they’re on a mission to raise awareness about the problems with outdated products, and make modern alternatives more accessible to all. And luckily it’s now easier than ever before!

Since the start of 2019 at least thirteen new plastic-free period products have been added across nine major retailers, including period pants, washable pads, menstrual cups, reusable tampon applicators and organic tampons and pads.

And the cherry on top – by switching to a reusable period product people can save up to 94% of what would have been spent on single-use tampons and pads over your menstruating lifetime!

  • To learn more about eco-friendly, health-friendly period products check out City to Sea’s FAQ’s page here.
  • To access exclusive Environmenstrual Week discount codes on eco-friendly, health-friendly products, click here.
  • To find out what ingredients are in the full range of period products check out City to Sea’s new guide here.
  • If you get your shopping online from one of the major retailers, use City to Sea’s guide to see who’s offering what.
  • And since the manufacturers won’t do it, please share their video to spread the word and help empower others to make informed decisions about their health and the planet.

Whilst it’s early days for extensive research into menstrual health and the effects of plastic on the human body, one thing is for sure. There are now better ways to have a period than we were told as kids – less risky for our health, easier on the wallet and far better for the planet.

Three cheers for #PlasticFreePeriods!

Nature

2020 – the year it all changed

New campaign from women-led reforestation movement, TreeSisters, presents reforestation as a crucial solution for cooling our planet and preventing future global pandemics

As climate change quickens and Covid-19 lockdowns threaten to resume, the new Reforest our Future campaign from women-led reforestation charity TreeSisters highlights the vital role reforestation plays in slowing climate change and preventing further zoonotic disease outbreaks.

As part of the campaign, TreeSisters, who have planted almost 13 million trees worldwide, releases _The Year it All Changed _animation today, Monday 19 October, sharing their powerful vision for how we can restore the health of our planet. Looking back from the future in 2070 to 2020, the video lays bare the consequences of the abuse of power by “those who cared more about profit than life”: the fires and deforestation in the Amazon and Australia, crazy weather, extinctions and the increasing risk of disease, which all threaten our livelihoods, safety and life as we know it.

Project Greenhands India receives funding from Treesisters

Yet the video also offers a clear road map for bringing our planet back to thriving life, as we witness humanity waking up to the reality that human health and the health of the planet are the same.We see the people starting to realise that deforestation is causing diseases to pass from animals to humans, and that without the forests they cant breathe,” explains Pollyanna Darling, acting CEO of TreeSisters. “So they take their power back, start planting trees to restore the forests in ways that support all life to flourish, and the health of the planet returns.

Recently evacuated from her home during the wildfires in California, Clare Dubois, Founder of TreeSisters, says:

The devastating fires scorched an undeniable message: Life as it has been here is over. We’ve entered a whole new stage of climate uncertainty. As the basics Nature has provided so bountifully are wiped away, were faced with the stark reality that we’ve created this desolation. When will we learn that what we do to Nature we do to ourselves?

Our new animation shows us a way out of the quagmire, she adds. “I believe we have the capacity for vast compassion, creativity and growth to pull it off. There is everything to play for, because right now there__’s everything to lose and that cannot be the legacy our children inherit. They need to know that we gave it everything, so will we?

Clare Dubois will host the TreeSisters Reforest our Future online panel discussion on Tuesday 27 October (11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern and 6pm UK), examining how the health of our planet impacts our own human health. Bringing together some of the world’s brightest visionary minds, including biochemist Diana Beresford-Kroeger; Jayne Sterland, Managing Director of Weleda (UK & Ireland); Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder of WECAN (Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network); Najavo peace activist Pat McCabe; and rainforest regeneration advocate Dr Kinari Webb, the event will also explore the vital role reforestation can play in creating a healthy future.

Clare Dubois says: “TreeSisters gives back to Nature with everything we do, and this panel is no exception! Attendance is by donation which will support the reforestation of our world. Growing a forest is socially and ecologically beneficial in more ways than many of us could ever imagine. If we can give Nature a chance, through real care and genuine reciprocity, then life does come back, water does return and critically endangered species can continue to grace our world. That is the legacy TreeSisters offers and you’re invited to be part of it. The future of our planet is in your hands.”

For more information about the Reforest our Future campaign, visit: https://treesisters.org/reforest-our-future