Deep Diving for Trash

Well, I gave up with my computer in the end.  I’ve removed the battery and now it seems I can at least use it again, although low and behold if I pull out the cable by mistake.  I’ve also now lost my number 3button, so that makes typing quite interesting! But at least the computers we were able to buy thanks to a grant from Lush are on their way from the USA….can’t come too soon, especially as I was supposed to be flying to Latvia today, but have had to postpone in order to wait for the arrival of the computer, because I need it to write our book and update our website, etc.  Oh well, patience is a virtue as they say!!

Anyway, I wanted to share an interesting article with you, and a thought as well.  Both related to the ocean row and the ocean in general.  The first is a new project that is skimming the ocean for rubbish, and the second is about Mooncups – just for variety!!! Would love to hear your views on either.

Deep Diving for Trash with a Marine Drone

While there’s been plenty of media pointing out or raising awareness about the disaster submerged right beneath sea level— the mountain-sized patch of plastic and other garbage that’s been collecting in oceans around the world, particularly in the Pacific—there’s less attention to some of the solutions that are currently in the works. Part of the reason is that the problem seems so huge (indeed, it’s beyond the point of return) and so distant that it’s not necessarily the easiest to conceive of steps to take action against.

Yet a crew of big-thinking designers has a concept for a trash-skimming and sensor-equipped “marine drone”that could detect trash in the ocean and scoop it into its net to be recycled. The drone is designed to navigate the ocean for two weeks at a time and would use an infrasound system to keep fish at bay. Think of a pool net that swims underneath the ocean by itself.

Behind the project is a French team of industrial designers: Elie Ahovi, Adrien Lefebvre, Philomène Lambaere, Marion Wipliez, Quentin Sorel, and Benjamin Lemoal. While the product represents simply an idea for now, it’s important to see dialogue about the problem that extends in the direction of action, not just fear and dread.

What are other important design-centric approaches toward cleaning the ocean?

The Moon Cup

I’d never heard of these until a few days ago.  They are basically made from latex, and you use them when you are menstruating instead of using tampons, towels, or doing whatever you usually do during menstruation.  Myself and the girls have been talking about this quit a bit recently, in relation to the ocean row, as we were contemplating how many tampons and how much space would be needed for four girls during a 6 month ocean row, with limited space, water, privacy, and no toilet.  Would we use contraception as a way of avoiding our periods, one of us was in favour of that method, one of us wasn’t.  I’ve used contraception as a way of regulating my periods during expeditions before, a long time ago, so maybe things have improved since then. But, it ended up more trouble than it was worth.  I felt rubbish the whole time, and instead of having my clock work period, I ended up having to wear tampons and towels throughout because I was spotting and had no idea if I would have my period or not, and it really ruined the expedition for me as I ended planing everything around whether I would have a period or not, how to carry back up towels and tampons, and thinking about toilet stops, not great in an expedition with boys, plus I had cramps, and the whole thing just didn’t work.  I also got lots of spots, had sore boobs, was bloaty, and had water retention.  So that has now put me off, and I don’t like the idea of messing about with my hormones, especially as I’m now heading towards 40 and my periods generally last just one or two days, and when I’m fit, they are not an issue.   But I understand my team mate and why she would want to have a 6monthly injection and no period.  But, I also don’t like the idea of carrying all our waste on the boat, or throwing it into the ocean, especially when we are all about trying to raise awareness of pollution.  So the mooncup sounds in many ways, like a good solution for me.

On the plus side, its small, apparently easy to clean, you don’t get overflow in the way you do with tampons, and you can use it over and over.  On the down side, I’m a little anxious about just how messy it could be, how well I can clean it, and I’m also worried about promoting any infection or introducing any bacteria into my body. So a lot more research is needed, but it could be a good option, though I don’t like the thought of having to carry it with me in my luggage.  So I’m really keen to hear from others who have experience with it, or have other suggestions or stories about menstruation whilst on expedition. More information about the mooncup here: they were designed by a woman, so that should be another plus!

Oh, and apparently, the average woman uses around 11,000 tampons on her lifetime! Bet you didn’t know that!!


About Sarah Rows Solo

British YouTuber and Founder of Environmental and STEM education charity Oceans Project, preparing for a solo row around the coast of Great Britain.
This entry was posted in Environment, Health and Fitness, Ocean Rowing, Plastic Pollution and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s