Semantics are hugely important. It's why we don't call black americans, or gays, or unmarried women by their previous designations, or any other minorities. It's why we strive towards gender and race-free terminologies. Choosing words and terms that promote a positive message over those that promote a negative message is not something that I (or Brian?) choose to brush under the table.
Semantics aside, I am a fire builder. But I hike in remote areas that are full of dead wood, and mostly pretty damp (temperate rain forests). You would have to be an arsonist to start a forest fire in these conditions. I also exclusively use a Ti-Tri Caldera, with a titanium base plate. The fire is contained, small, and safe. Would I do the same if I was hiking in Victoria in the middle of summer? No way. Saying absolutely NO fires, or NO toilet paper, or whatever, just doesn't make practical sense to me.
In NZ, someone has written an in depth article called "Menstrual waste in the backcountry". It's not just poos and wees that people want to regulate ;) Note some changes of wording to things like "carry home" verus "carry out". Semanitcs at work again...
Use the words "carry home" instead of "carry out" on all literature in order
to encourage backcountry recreationists to take all rubbish home rather
than dump it in the first convenient receptacle i.e., at a hut, or a roadside.
Pamphlets such as "Finding a Toilet in New Zealand" should make specific
reference to menstrual waste in order to heighten public awareness of the
need to dispose of this material appropriately. At present, the pamphlet
encourages people to "bury human waste" which includes menstrual waste
by default. Suggested wording: "Be careful to bury human excrement and
carry home paper and sanitary products".
A separate pamphlet could be produced which deals specifically with
menstrual waste and which contains information on the environmental
effects of leaving used menstrual products in the backcountry and gives
information on the availability of alternative disposal methods.
Information such as the package on alternative menstrual products produced
by the Nelson Environment Centre (Nelson Environment Centre, 1993)
could be distributed to information centres and other appropriate outlets;
backcountry recreation agencies, backcountry tourism agencies, tourist
accommodation agencies and outdoor education agencies so that the public
can become more informed about the issue of waste in backcountry areas.
All outdoor recreation clubs, outdoor education centres, schools, and
outdoor recreation tourism agencies should be informed on the appropriate
disposal of menstrual waste.
All people involved in outdoor education, outdoor recreation, and
backcountry tourism, should be educated on the issues surrounding
menstruation in the backcountry and potential solutions to these issues.
All conservation estate managers, outdoor education, outdoor recreation and
backcountry tourism managers should be educated about the issues
surrounding menstruation in the backcountry and the disposal of menstrual
waste so that appropriate policies can be developed and implemented.
FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT
Make specific mention of menstrual waste in notices about waste disposal
displayed on toilet facilities and in huts to highlight the need to include this
waste in rubbish carried home. The words "including sanitary products"
should be added to statements which advise people to carry home all their
"Carry-home" bags provided by DoC or other agencies could include specific
mention of menstrual waste. The words "including sanitary products" could
be added where appropriate.
"Carry-home" bags could be available in dark colours and with air-tight
closures to facilitate carrying-home of used menstrual products
Signs placed in all backcountry toilet facilities should clearly indicate
whether or not menstrual waste can be disposed of via the toilet system, and
what alternative methods are to be used if not the toilet.
Hand wash facilities should be provided inside all toilet cubicles in order to
facilitate general hygiene and the washing of reusable menstrual products.
Development of a reusable container for the carrying home of used
menstrual products could be encouraged so that reliance on disposable
plastic bags is reduced in the long term.
Research should be conducted on potential health problems arising from a
policy of carrying home waste from the backcountry. Encouraging people to
carry home waste (including used toilet paper, menstrual products and
infant diapers) may result in health problems arising from the dumping of
faecal matter and blood in either road-end rubbish receptacles or urban
Any agency developing policy about the disposal of menstrual waste should
seek Maori advice regarding the impact of waste disposal practices on Maori