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A Little Bit of All of It: A Natural Parenting Blog
October Unprocessed 2012
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Posts Tagged ‘reusable menstrual products’

From Keeper to Angelpadz in 13 Years

The following is a guest post from Juliet of Twisting Vines

Michelle's Keeper

Keeper (Photo credit: Zane Selvans)

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 »

An Earth Day Challenge – and a Giveaway to Help Get you Started! (US/CAN ~ CLOSED)

加厚款護墊

加厚款護墊 (Photo credit: hjw223)

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 »

My Journey to Cloth Pads

The following is a guest post from Lyndsay of ourfeministplayschool

Basket of various cloth menstrual pads

Basket of various cloth menstrual pads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 »

What Are Reusable Menstrual Products REALLY Like?

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.

Photo Credit: Author

Photo Credit: Author

Mama Cloth: Domino Pads and AprilM Designs. Diva Cup and zebra print wetbag (made for me by a friend). Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. Moon Time by Lucy Pearce

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 »

It’s That Time of the Month Year Again! (Giveaway ~ US/CAN CLOSED)

Giveaway winner will receive a Set of 5 Cloth Pads from Moms Crafts 4 U

Last year, in the spirit of Earth Day, I made a resolution.

I must admit - it wasn’t something I was terribly excited about doing at first – I looked at it as taking a pretty big risk and did not have a lot of faith that it would work out well.

But as I look back over the past year, I can say with full confidence that I’m a total convert and wouldn’t go back for anything.

What I did ranges from being no big deal for some (and indeed, seems like nothing out of the ordinary to me now) to being a huge, potentially weird and disturbing deal for others.

In short – I made the switch from using disposable menstrual products (pads and tampons) to using reusable menstrual products – cloth pads (or as it is sometimes known – ‘mama cloth’), a menstrual cup, and sea sponge tampons.

I wrote all about my initial experiences in various posts you can find HERE – they include reviews of Moms Crafts 4 U (along with Earth Mama Angel Baby Monthly Comfort Tea), Lunapads, GladRags, the Diva Cup, Sea Sponge Tampons, and Party in My Pants.

Now that I’ve been using these products for an entire year, I wanted to share a bit more about my experiences. I’m not gonna lie – I’d love to help convert you too (I’m even sweetening the deal with a cloth pad giveaway at the end of this post)! Read the rest of this entry »

Can I Have a Green Period, Too? (Giveaway ~ US & Canada – CLOSED)

Welcome to the Earth Day Blog Carnival

This post is part of the Earth Day Blog Carnival hosted by Child of the Nature Isle and Monkey Butt Junction. Each participant has shared their practices and insights of earth friendly, environmentally conscious, eco-living. This carnival is our way to share positive information and inspiration that can create healing for our planet. Please read to the end of this post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants. Happy Earth Day!

***

Wingless type (left) and winged type (right) o...

Do you REALLY wanna keep using these??

Happy Earth Day!

It’s been such a blast throughout this past week sharing reviews and my experiences with Mama Cloth and other natural menstrual products, getting your feedback, and realizing that making the switch wasn’t so hard after all.

I know I was a little worried in the beginning that I would spend money and find out I really didn’t like one or all of the products I picked, but truly, I would be happy with any of them over disposable pads and tampons any day – I’m only sorry I didn’t make the switch sooner!

If you haven’t gotten a chance yet, please check out my reviews on Moms Crafts 4 U (along with Earth Mama Angel Baby Monthly Comfort Tea), Lunapads, GladRags, the Diva Cup, Sea Sponge Tampons, and Party in My Pants

And if you’re still on the fence, here are a few Earth Day inspirations that might help to bring you over:

  • Over 20 BILLION disposable pads, tampons, and applicators will be added to landfills every year in North America alone. The disposal of these products releases dioxins and other toxic chemicals into our rivers, lakes and oceans and pollutes our soil.
  • A woman will use on average 13,000 disposable menstrual products in her lifetime. ONE cloth pad has the potential to replace 140 disposable pad/tampon products.
  • ONE cloth pad can last up to 5 years.
  • Disposable pads and tampons used in an average woman’s menstruating life will cost her $4500 compared to $200-$750 for reusable pads and tampons.
  • Many pads and tampons are chemically treated to whiten, perfume, and make them more absorbent. They are also made of synthetic fibers. Given the sensitivity of the vaginal area to chemical absorption and the number of disposable menstrual products a woman uses in her life, this is a really big issue.

Sources: http://www.naturalmenstrualproducts.com/, http://lunapads.com/about-us/media-info

STILL not convinced??

Well, that’s OK, because Becoming Crunchy has gotten together with WAHM Veronica from Moms Crafts 4 U, who has generously donated three 8” cloth pads AND a $10 gift certificate good for anything in her wonderful Etsy shop for one lucky winner from today’s post – you may just get a chance to try before you buy! Read the rest of this entry »

Is Mama Cloth Really for Me?

My Stash

My Stash

All this week at Becoming Crunchy, I’ve been reviewing Mama Cloth, or cloth menstrual pads, along with reusable tampon-like products – the Diva Cup and Sea Sponge tampons (even wrote a guest post on this topic over at The Cloth Diapering Mama!)

I’m very excited to host a mama cloth giveaway tomorrow as part of the upcoming Earth Day Blog Carnival hosted by Child of the Nature Isle and Monkey Butt Junction, but I wanted to do a little wrap-up of my experiences and reviews before we go ahead with the giveaway.

Did I Make the Right Decision?

I’m gonna answer that one with a big “Heck Yes!!”

I really want to emphasize – I was so not all about mama cloth when I first heard of it; I decided to give it a try because I had read so many great reviews, and because I would prefer my daughter to use natural products over disposables when she gets to that point in her life, but I really didn’t expect to like it.

Now I’m just wishing I had made the decision sooner!

This is just one of those things I know I will never regret doing; there are too many benefits that outweigh the negatives of using disposable pads and tampons.

OK…Then Which One Should I Use?

My personal, number one recommendation? Read the rest of this entry »

There’s a Party in My Pants!

 

Party in my Pants

Party in my Pants pads, Wet Bag & Wing Extender

That’s because I’m reviewing Party in My Pants – the cloth pad company that definitely wins the award for the best name ever! (Seriously – I bought from them because of their name! :D )

If you’re just catching up with Becoming Crunchy today, I’ve been reviewing mama cloth, or cloth pads from various businesses, along with reusable tampon-like products.

So far I’ve covered Moms Crafts 4 U (along with Earth Mama Angel Baby Monthly Comfort Tea), Lunapads, GladRags, the Diva Cup and Sea Sponge Tampons.

I also got the great opportunity to guest post over at The Cloth Diapering Mama today – I would love for you to go check out my post on Looking at That Time of the Month in a Whole New Way - especially because it includes information on how you can help support girls and women in countries around the world who are being deeply affected by an inability to afford sanitary menstrual products – a cause that is very dear to my heart.

I have one last review this morning, a post later on today with a few wrap up points, and a giveaway tomorrow!! (A chance to try mama cloth or add to my stash without spending $$? Don’t mind if I do!). The giveaway will also be part of tomorrow’s Earth Day Blog Carnival hosted by Child of the Nature Isle and Monkey Butt Junction, so it’s definitely going to be a great day for some good reading.

All that housekeeping out of the way, let’s get started… Read the rest of this entry »

Sea Sponge Whaaat?

 

Sea Sponge Tampons

Jade & Pearl Sea Sponge Tampons

In continuing my posts this Earth Week on Mama Cloth and other reusable menstrual products, I reviewed GladRags this morning, along with an estimation of the kind of money you can save when you make the switch.

Tonight I’m talking Sea Sponge tampons from Jade & Pearl.

I purchased my Sea Sponges from GladRags in a package that came with 2 pantyliners – my total was $30.99 before discount. If you purchase directly from Jade & Pearl, prices start at $13/sponge.

When I first saw these on the GladRags sight, I thought they were super weird – probably the oddest product I had come across so far.

But I figured, what the heck…I’ll give them a try.

These ended up being my favorite thing out of everything I purchased and tried during my period!

Jade & Pearl was founded in 1974 by Gloria Starita – she was selling sea sponge tampons before they even knew how bad disposable tampons were!

Though I didn’t purchase directly through their website, I can see just from looking around it that there’s a lot of great information and products – I’m just glad they distribute through GladRags or I wouldn’t have known they existed!

Sea Sponges are a totally natural reusable tampon sustainably harvested through working closely with the University of Florida Sea Grant Extension Program; they also ensure that child labor is never used in the work of harvesting. Read the rest of this entry »

That Cup Does What?

Diva Cup

Diva Cup

We’re doing a quick switch from mama cloth here over to the Diva Cup – a reusable menstrual cup made from healthcare grade silicone  that is plastic free, BPA free, latex free and sanitary.

It was created by a mother/daughter team, Francine & Carinne Chambers, about 15 years ago. The idea of the menstrual cup has been around for a long time, but this is probably the most popularized and available one in recent history.

I actually had a friend tell me about the Diva Cup…oh around 10 years ago now. I think I barely listened to her – my response was probably along the lines of, “Gross!” (Mary, if you ever by any chance come across this blog, I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you!).

Up until very recently, the Diva continued to NOT appeal to me…there was something about it I just couldn’t get into. But I wanted to be fair and give it a try – I’m not the type who likes the idea of a pad alone throughout my period, so I wanted to give some of the ‘tampon-like’ products their due.

The basic premise of the Diva Cup:

You fold it in half, push it up there (it does not go up as far as a tampon would), twist it a bit to create a seal, and it catches your flow. Every so often you pull it out, dump it, and clean it with a gentle soap (I just used my all natural bathroom hand soap, but you can buy a special Diva Wash if you’re interested).

You can find a video on how to do it HERE.

I’m trying to think of why I didn’t like the idea so much and I can come up with 2 things – it looks a bit weird and kind of big to be going up there (it’s certainly wider than a tampon) and then there’s the ick factor – you do get a little more up close and personal with your flow than you normally might with a tampon. Read the rest of this entry »

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