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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
Mindful Mama Carnival
A Little Bit of All of It: A Natural Parenting Blog
October Unprocessed 2012
Freedom of Cloth Carnival

Posts Tagged ‘Tampon’

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 »

The Cost of NOT Greening Your Period

pads and tampon garbage

pads and tampon garbage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 disclaimers to begin this post…

#1 – It’s late! I meant to have this as a wrap up to the posts of the week before last and just didn’t get to it in time. My apologies! :)

#2 – I plan to share in this post (among other things) some great reasons for ‘greening your period’ – or switching to reusable menstrual products. On the flip side of that I will be sharing some of the not-so-great things about disposable products. While I believe what I’m sharing has merit and sincerely hope that it may help provide a few answers for anyone on the fence or new to the whole idea, I am absolutely not judging you if you disagree with what’s expressed here. If this post comes as the right one at the right time for you, great! If it’s totally not your bag, feel free to ignore it!

OK – now we can get started!

I want to re-post something I shared last year:

  • 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

This list is why I titled this post as I did.

First off, the contribution I was making to landfills with all those tampons and pads was something I never even considered. For far too long I was of the mindset that when you throw garbage ‘away’, it just goes into that nebulous ‘away’ that most of us never have to think about or deal with.

But when you do think of it…what a terrible burden to place on our earth! Don’t get me wrong – I still use things that are disposable. But I have come to see that we do WAY more disposable than we need to in so many things, where it takes surprisingly little effort to use something that will last for years.

Ultimately, whether it’s pads and tampons or paper plates or diapers or plastic spoons or whatever, we need to start counting the cost with these things. We need to start seeing the numbers – envisioning the disaster we are creating – and acting accordingly.

Moving on to actual financial cost. 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 »

Getting Rid of the Garbage

 

Wow

Wow

Check out what I recently pulled out from underneath my bathroom sink!

I haven’t actually used any of this stuff in months, but it was still there, lurking. I was actually surprised at the large quantity…I thought I had been weeding out more than I really was!

That is a lot of money right there, folks – an entire, heavy laundry basket full.

And a lot of packaging. :p

Fortunately, most of it is recyclable (and I will probably donate the pads and tampons), and I can now say with full confidence:

Never. Again.

It has been well over 2 months now since I’ve gone No Poo – a step I took very skeptically as an experiment. Since then, a lot has changed!

For funsies, I thought I would go through my old ‘beauty regimen’ (not that it was much of a regimen – I’ve never been much of what you would call a girly-girl) compared to my new one.

Here’s what it used to look like: 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 »

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 »

Sometimes I Feel Like I’m the Only Girl at School Who Doesn’t Have a Green Period

 

Lunapads

Lunapads

This Earth Week at Becoming Crunchy we’re talking Mama Cloth and other reusable, sustainable products for that time of the month.

Yesterday I reviewed cloth pads from Moms Crafts 4 U, along with Earth Mama Angel Baby Monthly Comfort Tea – stop by and check it out if you haven’t gotten a chance to yet!

Today I’m reviewing Lunapads and the Diva Cup.

If you’ve heard of cloth pads or menstrual cups at all, you’re probably heard of these 2 products…I’m guessing they’re the most well known out of the bunch.

I actually really didn’t like the idea of the Diva Cup (more on that later) but didn’t feel a week of reviews would be complete without it, so I gamely gave it a try. Here are my impressions:

Lunapads

Lunapads has been around since 1993 – they are based out of Vancouver, Canada. They were originally created by fashion designer Madeleine Shaw when she became concerned about the health issues surrounding conventional disposable menstrual products. She was later joined by chartered accountant Suzanne Siemens; together they made the business into what it is today (they are now sold in 40 different countries!).

My first experience with Lunapads was when I was looking for a better solution to postpartum bleeding than those giant overnight disposables (I didn’t have confidence that the disposables would work very well…for some reason the idea of postpartum bleeding was ridiculously scary to me – it actually wasn’t quite as bad as I had anticipated. Oh the fears of first time pregnant mamas ;) ).

At any rate, Lunapads had some pretty awesome looking postpartum stuff, but I didn’t really want to pay for it when I wasn’t even sure I liked the idea or if it would work. Though with the money I ended up spending on all those overnight pads, I probably would have saved more if I had just bought the Lunapads!

Starting with customer service: Read the rest of this entry »

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