The following is a guest post from Juliet of Twisting Vines…
I first came across reusable menstrual products somewhere around 2000, as a very broke post-grad student. Financially and environmentally it seemed like a good option, and I bought myself a Keeper (then the only menstrual cup I could find online, and as I recall, I had to get one shipped to the UK from Canada!).
I was an immediate convert. It was more comfortable than tampons, knocked a fiver off my monthly budget (a big deal for me at the time), and meant no more guilt about shoals of white cotton and blue string bobbing around merrily in the ocean.
The Keeper went missing some five years later and was replaced by a Mooncup. By this time they were becoming slightly better known – I was seeing Mooncup stickers on toilet doors at the Glastonbury Festival every year, but still had to buy online, from the UK this time.
Five more years passed and the dog ate my Mooncup (yes, really…), by which time I was able to buy a replacement one in a bricks-and-mortar shop, as they have become standard stock at the high street chemist Boots. The times, they are a’changing.
Then I fell pregnant, and didn’t need to use any sanitary protection at all for nine months, plus the six months of exclusive breastfeeding before my period came back (I was very annoyed; the return of my period when my baby was still feeding every 60-90 minutes day and night felt a little harsh). Out came my trusty Mooncup — only to find that, surprisingly enough, childbirth can do things to your nether regions. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy Earth Day!
I hope you’ve been enjoying the awesome guest posts of the past few days (one more coming up tomorrow!) – personally I love seeing all these real life stories of women who have made the switch to reusable products for ‘that time of the month’ – it’s inspiring and encouraging to know how many have happily made this choice.
And today on Earth Day, I extend the challenge to you.
It was just about 3 years ago today that I closed my eyes and jumped in – it’s hard for me to fathom it now, but it really was a difficult decision to give up those pads and tampons. I wasn’t confident that reusable products would really work for my heavy periods. I thought it might be a little too gross. It seemed like a lot of money to pay up front.
But the more I realized how bad those toss away products are for the earth – and for my body – the more I leaned toward taking that plunge. And once I finally did…well, ever since then I’ve wanted nothing but to share how amazing these products are!
It’s hard to say why, exactly…I don’t make or manufacture or sell reusable products – there’s no monetary gain for me. I certainly don’t judge anyone who chooses not to. Read the rest of this entry »
The following is a guest post from Julia at A Little Bit of All of It…
I have always enjoyed reading Kelly’s posts each Earth Day on our monthly cycles as well as her thoughts and experiences with using resusable menstrual products. I have wanted to try out cloth pads for quite a long time and finally took the plunge after the birth of my son and used cloth for my postpartum period.
I tried 2 different companies, both run by WAHM’s: Moms Crafts 4 U and Domino Pads. I had heard good things about both companies. Moms Crafts 4 U had a great price point that was perfect for my budget so I mostly bought from them. I wasn’t entirely sure what to order so I asked around and then relied on Moms Crafts 4 U recommendations (based on washing every 2 days or so). They are:
- 2-4 Postpartum Heavy Thickness (12 or 14 inch, personal preference here really) for night time
- 3-5 Heavy Thickness (10 inch) for heavy days
- 3-5 Heavy Thickness (8 inch) for heavy days
Once it slows down a bit…
- 5 Regular Thickness (8 Inch)
For me, I ended up getting:
From Moms Crafts 4 U:
- (6) 8″ Regular (3 cotton, 3 flannel)
- (3) 8″ Heavy (2 cotton, 1 flannel)
- (3) 10″ Heavy (1 cotton, 2 flannel)
From Domino Pads:
- (2) X-Heavy Long
I was basing this on the fact I am petite and these sizes all worked really well for me. The X-Heavy Long was more than big enough for nighttime for me, but Domino Pads carries a bigger one called “The Quince” that is 15″ long that you may want to consider as well. To be honest, I am a visual person so I went and measured the disposable pads that I had on hand at the time to see what size I was used to using and knew was a good length to also make my determinations. This is how I knew the longest I needed was the X-Heavy Long which is a 13″ pad. (You could also measure inside your underwear to see how long the pad will be to determine how long you think you’ll need.) Read the rest of this entry »
This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.
LittleEcoFootprint is offering our readers a giveaway of a TWO-MONTH SUBSCRIPTION, a value of $58. This giveaway is open to Canada only.
A LittleEcoFootprint subscription gets you a box of healthy, organic, and eco-friendly goodies for mom and baby or toddler delivered to your door monthly.
I am so pleased to share this review and giveaway from Canadian company LittleEcoFootprint. I’m always looking for great products and companies closer to home, and the LittleEcoFootprint subscription offers the perfect opportunity to get to know even more of them!
Here’s the basics of how it works — you sign up for a 1-, 3- or 6-month membership. They deliver a box of at least 5 products to your door each month — healthy, organic, eco-friendly — with some things for you and some for your baby or toddler (box designed around age of your child). Shipping is always included.
So I have to admit — my first thought was to expect kind of a sample box — you know, not that exciting? I was very pleasantly surprised when my first LittleEcoFootprint package arrived at my door!
Pretty paper and arrangement made it seem like such a fun goody for me experience, while at the same time a minimum of packaging and use of sustainable materials impressed my eco-sensibilities.
I also found a lot more than I expected inside! Three good-sized bags of organic treats for my toddler from Canadian company First Food Organics, an absolutely gorgeous growth chart from Canadian company ecojot that will be going up in Bean’s room (so cute it’s going to be tough to write on it!), a chemical-free stain remover stick that looks like it will last ages, some yummy-smelling body wash and skin care products, crayon rocks for Bean, and a $10 coupon for Canadian clothing company Boské Kids. Really it was quite a haul and a great opportunity to test out new products.
But what’s even cooler to me is that the goodies aren’t the only things involved in this membership.
Included in the package was a little booklet full of articles from some pretty amazing experts in the eco-friendly, nutrition and parenting worlds — people like Stephanie Moram of Good Girl Gone Green, Erica Ashmore of Toronto-based Everything Mom & Baby, registered holistic nutritionist Natasha Bell and many more — a wealth of information gathered all in one place.
They also offer a blog on their website with even more great info, plus perks like members-only giveaways.
LittleEcoFootprint was developed by Canadian moms Lisa & Kristy when they became concerned after the birth of their children (as so many of us do) at the plethora of chemicals and toxins abounding in mainstream baby and kids products. As they began their search for better options, they came up with a way to share all these great new brands with others through the LittleEcoFootprint subscription. It’s obvious to me they’ve worked hard to make this a high-quality, high-value, and fun package for moms traveling along the same path.
As for our experience, I truly have no complaints. Bean really enjoyed her treats and loves the crayon rocks. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to test out all these new brands, especially as so many of them are Canadian. And I really love getting stuff in the mail, so something like this would be an awesome thing to look forward to every month.
If you’re a mom in Canada, I definitely recommend that you give LittleEcoFootprint a try. Can’t wait to see what’s coming in next month’s box!
You can purchase your own subscription at LittleEcoFootprint.com. Pick up a monthly membership for $29/month, a 3-month membership for $87 or a 6-month membership for $162. Shipping is always free!
And just for Natural Parents Network and Becoming Crunchy readers, LittleEcoFootprint is giving a $5 discount off the first month’s order from now through May 14, 2013. Enter code NATURALPARENT during the ordering process.
For your own chance to win a Two-Month Subscription from LittleEcoFootprint, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below.
The winner will receive a 2-month membership to LittleEcoFootprint. Contest is open to CANADA only.
MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit LittleEcoFootprint and tell us one thing you have learned about the company! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.
Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries.
This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!
See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!
The following is a guest post from Lyndsay of ourfeministplayschool…
I’m so happy to be sharing information about the resources I use during my period! Much like the realities of childbirth and parenting, menstruation is often left for us to figure out as we wade through a media-inspired version of what our bodies should be doing and how we should be handling it.
I was 10 years old when I got my first period, starting out with the pile of maxi-pads my mother offered me, and by 13 I was using the run-of-the mill bleached cotton tampons.
I don’t regret this, or even dwell on it. I know now that it wasn’t the best thing for my body, especially for my vagina and other reproductive parts, but we need to be gentle with our journey towards embracing a natural lifestyle. I, like so many other women, did what I knew.
When I was 24, while completing my graduate studies, I made a lifestyle switch from vegetarian to vegan. This change to my diet inspired me to take stock of my whole being, and the ways that choices I was making were impacting the environment. Of course, I had known for some time that my use of tampons on a monthly basis was leaving an eco-footprint that I wasn’t entirely proud of. It was obvious, by making different choices around my period, I could add to the environmental contributions that I hoped I was making with my vegan diet.
It was then that I switched to Natracare tampons – these were both better for me and better for the environment. Given that this was 11 years ago, it was a little more difficult to get my hands on these and they were double the price of what I had been paying. Despite these obstacles, I knew that my body and the environment were worth the sacrifice I needed to make to ‘green’ my period.
Only two years into my eco approach to my menstruation, I experienced an extended period of amenorrhea. I checked in with my doctor and he wasn’t worried about the absence of my period, reassuring me that it was just a side effect of training for long distance running. I was 29 before my period returned, and it was at the point that I decided to try a menstrual cup. Read the rest of this entry »
The following is a guest post from Kymberlee of Our Crazy Corner of the World.
I’ve been in the ranks of menstruating females for about 14 years, but I’ve only been aware of the world of reusable menstrual products for about four years, and using them for about three. It took awhile to get on board, for several reasons.
I was already using cloth diapers for my son, but for some reason the poop and pee of my own offspring didn’t seem as bad as dealing with my *own* blood. I don’t like blood. It makes me nauseated. But, ultimately the desire to be frugal won out so I dived in head first with a few cloth panty-liners and a Diva Cup. And anxiously awaited for my cycle to start. Then I was hooked. As you can see from the picture, I’ve got quite the little stash. My favorite, FAVORITE pads are handmade by a wonderful lady in San Antonio, Texas. Her company is Domino Pads.
When I share that I’m a fan of reusable menstrual products like cloth pads or cups, I’m immediately met with lots of questions. I love the questions! I appreciate that people feel comfortable enough to ask me about these things, and I love sharing what I’ve learned.
So when Kelly asked me to guest post, I immediately decided to do a question and answer type session. So I asked a few girlfriends who were considering making the switch to ask me whatever they could think of! We had a pretty fun Facebook chat about the whole thing one afternoon. Hopefully the questions and answers will help you make the decision about what’s right for you!
A few things to know about mama cloth and menstrual cups: Read the rest of this entry »
On March 28, 2013, bloggers from around the world came together in a show of support for breastfeeding mothers. New mothers have enough challenges without having to feel guilty for how they feed their baby.
Over the last few days there have been a lot of heated debates, controversial posts, and social media outcry against the position that the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) takes on breastfeeding.
While they do present sound information on the ideal diet for breastfeeding mothers, they do so in a manner that brings about guilt, fear, and confusion.
I was particularly sorry to see many of my favourite ‘real food’ bloggers supporting this message through the support of The Village Green Network’s recent Healthy Life Summit, where blogger and spokesperson for the WAPF Sarah Pope presented a seminar entitled: Is Breast Always Best? (followed up by the answer – only if mother’s diet is nutritionally dense).
I want to emphasize that behind that messaging is not just the thought of a mother who survives on a diet of pepsi and doritos – but vegetarians, vegans, people who follow a middle of the road conventionally healthy diet – essentially anyone who does not follow the strict WAPF protocol of only traditional, real foods.
In fact, they believe that “The diet of modern American women is so appalling, and their preparation for successful breastfeeding so lacking, that their breast milk provides no better nourishment for their infants than factory-made formula.” Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to the Breastfeeding Support Blog Party! Bloggers around the world have gathered together to share posts which provide current or soon-to-be breastfeeding mothers with a wealth of well-researched information, personal stories, and statistics designed to help you have the most successful breastfeeding experience possible. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more about this movement as well as to link to and read more informative breastfeeding support posts.
There is a lot of pressure on us as women and as mothers in particular. High expectations of looking a certain way, eating a certain way, being on top of everything while being pillars of support are placed on us every single day.
I think this is part of why it’s so easy to get both defensive and judgmental when it comes to parenting.
Particularly as new mothers, we are barraged with information and criticism from every corner, all while trying to figure out this totally new role of parenting on less sleep than we’ve ever gotten in our lives. Not. Easy.
Among the topics that come up for the most controversy, you could hardly pick a more prevalent one than breastfeeding. And the pressure here is multiplied tenfold – you’re constantly told it’s best for your baby while at the same time stumbling through minefields of ‘booby traps’ or obstacles to breastfeeding.
I traveled through that minefield and crashed and burned. Lack of support, misinformation, pain and agony and more – the reasons I gave up on breastfeeding were many – and sneaking in right along with them were feelings of inadequacy. I wasn’t healthy enough. I didn’t eat well enough. I was too fat.
I wasn’t a good enough mother to do the best for my baby. Read the rest of this entry »
For about a year and a half now I’ve been working at a job I really enjoy as an executive assistant in a family-owned business. It keeps me very busy (mainly too busy to blog if you haven’t noticed lol) but all in all it’s pretty great.
Kinda funny too, because in spite of the business casual environment most of my coworkers know me as the resident hippie (something I’m totally OK with).
During my time there I’ve come across several ways I can easily and not too annoyingly ‘green’ our office. I’m guessing a lot of these would apply to various workplaces so thought I would share…
1. Recycle. This one is so easy and yet it is surprising how few people will do it. The recycle bin under the desk for paper is a no brainer, but I’ve been able to figure out easy ways to recycle used printer cartridges (our office supply delivery guy will just pick them up – no shipping back to the company entailed) and gently encourage people to actually use the recycle bin in the cafe by pointing out that it is in fact, there. Right next to the garbage can.
No recycling at your workplace? Talk to your boss or building manager about getting it – you might be surprised at how easy it could be.
2. Greener Supplies. Talk to the person in charge of ordering office and other supplies. Are there greener options they could be choosing? There are actually quite a few options available through companies like Staples or Grand & Toy that don’t even cost more than their regular counterparts. Your supplier may have more than you realized as well. If not, suggest it to them through an e-mail or contact form. Read the rest of this entry »
I recently had an interesting conversation with a dietitian in which I came to realize that many health educators truly believe that because most of us refuse to eat real, whole foods, they must teach us how to choose the ‘least worst’ of the processed foods widely available to us.
This made me sad for several reasons, not the least among them being the fact that it’s kinda, sorta, a little bit true.
Again, I know this from experience – I grew up as one of the world’s pickiest eaters and there is still a lot of real, healthy food that I find to be, well, gross (though I continue to work toward expanding my palate!).
In too many ways, processed food actually does taste better to us than real food does (and that’s no accident!). You hear it all the time – why are all the things that are ‘good for you’ have to taste so bad??
Personally, I believe that’s another way in which the food industry wins - if you can get people to dislike or even fear real food, you’re happily pushing them further into your processed, junky arms, which is of course their aim.
When I first started moving toward eating more real food (and by real, I mean unprocessed, whole foods – eggs, vegetables, meat, raw dairy, real butter, etc.) I viewed it as a big sacrifice, something I should be doing but didn’t really want to.
While I still may have to defeat that attitude on any given day, I have managed to come up with some simple and pretty easy ways to make it possible – even enjoyable – to the point of loving many foods I couldn’t have imagined touching 10 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »