Sustainability, crop tops and the menopause – it's The Spill

Have you ever had one of those days that screamed for a wine and chats sesh with your girlfriends? Enter Image.ie's podcast, The Spill. 

The Spill is hosted by our very own self-proclaimed agony aunts Sophie White and Rhona McAuliffe. With a mix of discussion on current affairs, arts and culture and some healthy advice to our listeners, it's the best place to unwind and deliberate the issues affecting Irish women today.

Sustainability

In this week's episode of The Spill, Sophie and Rhona begin with a discussion about sustainability. While they have both noticed an increase in environmental awareness in Ireland, there's still a long way to go. It seems 95% of our waste in Ireland is exported to China; however, the Chinese government won't accept this any longer because our pollution is harmful to their people. So what can we do?

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Rhona chats about people who live by a 'zero waste' policy, sharing a story she learned from a Ted Talk by Bea Johnson. The French woman explains how her entire waste for the year (including that of her husband and two children) can fit in one glass jar. She makes her own make-up, she avoids washing her hair for months on end, and she buys all of her clothes second-hand. Everything her family owns can fit into carry-on bags. Her house is minimal; there's no excess. "It's really interesting," Rhona says, "It really made me think about the excess we've fallen into. It made my life feel so ostentatious and thoughtless."

Sophie mentions an Irish woman who follows the zero waste movement, too. "Her name is Pat Kane, and she runs the website reuzi.ie. She's great for tips, and she sells products to reduce our waste, such as containers and nappies. You can even book an appointment or consultation with her." The discussion then moves on to sustainable fashion, including brands like Stiall; our food's impact on the world's forests; packaging, and eco-friendly burials. (See what Team IMAGE has done to reduce waste in the office here).

Crop tops

Next, the women chat about crop-tops. Are you a fan of this controversial clothing item? Rhona says, "It's a body positivity thing," while Sophie says they're "political". She admits she didn't have the confidence to wear crop tops (or shorts) until she had her two children, "because I thought I couldn't." However, she learned to embrace her own body and comfort, because really, who cares what anyone else thinks? That being said, Sophie has found some people really hate her new sartorial choice. While jogging in a crop top during the recent heatwave, she says, "I saw a woman really disapproving of me. She looked disgusted." Rhona isn't too keen on them either. "I have basic sensory issues with crop tops. I don't like drafts. I just feel like it's half a top..." What do you think?

"My menopause turned my life upside-down"

The final discussion topic on this week's The Spill is the Menopause. Rhona reads a letter from a 51-year-old woman going through it, saying she has no motivation, is moody, can’t sleep, and has never felt more alone and isolated. After doing extensive research to help the woman, Rhona learned this is totally normal (even though, technically, menopause has no 'normal'). "About 70% of women experience menopausal symptoms, and 10% are really severe. There are reams and reams of symptoms, which I wasn't aware of. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain."

They then discuss a number of high-profile people who are opening the conversation about menopause; including Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Saunders, Angelina Jolie, Ulrika Johnson, and Kirsty Wark. "Carol Vorderman said she was experiencing 10-day bouts of not being able to leave the house, extreme depression, and suicidal thoughts. It was only six months in that she connected it to her menstrual cycle," Rhona says. She and Sophie go on to talk about hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and whether or not it can improve menopause symptoms, as well as other treatments available. They recommend reading an article by Jeanette Winterson, called Can you stop the menopause? for more experiential information.

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