Yes we women suffer! Why is it that the queue for the women’s toilet is always twice as long as the men’s? We are always crossing our legs in public places hoping to hold on till we get home or at least to a decent café. In more outward bound situations women generally have to air their backsides in all weathers while the men just unzip and away they go! Well the good news ladies is that Treehugger has become increasingly aware of products out there on the market, developed specifically to allow women to pee in comfort.
Yes it’s an age old problem that we girls continue to deal with, whether you are trained in the art of hovering over the dirty toilet seat (good for the thigh muscles!) or an expert in arranging toilet paper to cover the seat, or have developed such strong bladder control that you never need to go. For such a normal call of nature its never very simple process! Well there are some women out there who clearly just won’t stand for squatting anymore, they want to take their stand next to the men.
There seems to be two camps of urinating apparatus, the disposable and non-disposable. We want to find out not only which are the most effective but also the most environmentally friendly. Of the non-disposable products we have found the Freshette and the Travelmate. The Freshette is funnel shaped with a retractable tube, it is designed for adventure, sports, travel and medical use. It is clearly reusable, but unfortunately the website does not tell us what material it is made from. The Freshette is definitely the most expensive of the products starting at $22.95. The Travelmate is also reusable, made from clear medical grade plastic, it is one of the more discreet products, easily inserted through your fly zip and washable under a tap. It won the Medical Design Excellence award in 2001 and it weighs in at $4.59.
The Whizzy and the P-mate are two paper funnel products which are disposable. The Whizzy was invented by an American women who suffers from debilitating arthritis and needed an aide to minimise the frequency of getting up and down. It comes in two sizes: travel size or extended size. It is the simplest design of the four products just utilizing a folded piece of paper shaped to fit between the legs and to create a channel. You can buy 10 Whizzys for $10.
The P-mate is an invention by a Dutch woman who when travelling in Indonesia found herself in increasingly compromising positions when going to the toilet. In Europe it is the most publicised of the four products having been promoted at various rock festivals in 2004, (including Glastonbury, U.K. and Pinkpop, Neds), where we all know the queues for unsanitary toilets are insufferable. You can buy 5 packs of 5 for £2.50.
In summary the cheapest option is the P-mate which on a plus point is made from a fully recyclable material, but on a downer is a use once only product. But in first place must come the Travelmate which is not much more expensive than the P-mate and as long as you don’t drop it down the toilet can be reused as often as necessary.
So whether you find yourself stuck on top of a rocky mountain, rocking out in a muddy field, or squatting in a dirty toilet we hope this survey has informed you of some new ways of making that call of nature a bit more comfortable. And just to let you know, the best thing about all these products for the users was their new found joy in being able to write their names in the snow just like the men! So stand up, take aim and get writing girls! ::Freshette :: the Travelmate ::the Whizzy ::the P-mate
[Leonora & Petz]