Then I heard this:
(from gladrags.com) "If you menstruate 340 times in your lifetime, using 20 disposables per period, that amounts to 6800 pads or tampons thrown away. Now consider all the women using disposables in the world. If 500 million women use disposables throughout their lifetime, that's 3.4 trillion pads or tampons thrown away! Not only is landfill space taken up, but these materials cannot be reused and are no longer part of the resources available to us. Then, of course, there's all that packaging, (wrappers, boxes, applicators) that are also thrown away, all the garbage bags used, all the fuel used to truck those products to the stores week in and week out. Using GladRags for even a portion of your cycle makes a difference!"
What? My period is wasteful? Dang. It's so obvious when I think about it.
And then I thought about this:
I want to spend less money. Times are tight. Everyone wants to save a buck. We've cut out some unneccesary stuff but then I realized that at $5 a month for disposables, about one box of tampons and half a box of pads, for 5 years, hm, 12 x 5, carry the 1, that's $60 bucks a year! They say that well cared for Gladrags menstrual pads and the Mooncup can last even longer than 5 years and after seeing and using them, I believe it.
|No adhesive. The wings snap securely around the crotch of your undies.|
|One cup and a couple of pantyliners is all I needed for my whole cycle!|
Choosing disposable pad and tampons means a monthly expense of between $5 and $25 for every woman. Over the course of her menstrual life disposables costs the average woman more than $5,000. By comparison, reusable alternatives give years of protection for a fraction of that cost. If you buy a set of 2 GladRags pantyliners and a Mooncup at a cost of $50, that kit (compared to the price of disposables) will pay for it self in 10 months or less and last 5 years or more.
I want to ease the chemical burden that living on this planet causes in my body and the chemical burden my living places on the planet. In our society there is no way to live without producing waste. There is only so much you can eliminate and still function efficiently. Adopting reusable menstrual protection products into your routine is one big way to reduce the amount of toxins you take into your body and reduce the amount of toxins realeased in to our waterways through paper and plastic production and disposal.
I entered 2 internet giveaways last month. One for a Mooncup and one for a set of Gladrags pantyliners. I won them both. Yeah, I couldn't believe it either!
Anyway, for my last period I used the Mooncup w GladRags panty-liners to back it up. It took a couple of tries to get the cup placed right but once I got the hang it was amazingly, life-changing-ly wonderful.
I had a heavy flow last month and did leak but only because I forgot about it and it over filled (It's THAT comfortable). Fortunately the panty liner was enough to catch it. It's my recommendation that a cup and two panty-liners (wash-one-wear-one system) is the minimum needed to get through a cycle. I washed the liner by hand every day, even when there wasn't any leakage, I just rinsed it and hung it in the laundry room it dried in less than a day. I usually have a medium-light flow, your experience may vary.
Getting over the ICK Factor
I know that initially when a person hears about reusables the knee-jerk reaction is "ICK! Reusable PADS?!?!? I could never..."
I know, me too! I was apprehensive. I don't have a problem with the washing part, because cloth pads are as easy to wash as your underwear. I didn't know if they would be comfortable, if they would really work and be reliable. How would the practical side play out? It's a risk, it's new territory. It could go horribly wrong and one of our greatest fears as modern women could come true. Disposables have been around all our lives. They were introduced in the 1930s. It hasn't always been that way. Even though most of them didn't talk about it, our great grandmothers used reusable pads because there wasn't anything else. Read more on that here.
Not convinced? OK, Let's go over the disposable routine:
With disposable tampons and pads, you
1 Go to the store about 340 times and spend over $5000 in your menstruating lifetime.
2 Use a product once, then throw it in the landfill or flush it into our water, that works most of the time and smells like death all of the time.
3 Put the used tampons and pads in a bin next to the toilet so they stink up the room. Then take them to the landfill where they will stay for 1000s of years.
4 Get a yeast infection, a rash from the adhesive stuck to your butt, an over-dry irritated vagina and a dose of toxins and a lighter wallet every month.
Here is the reusable routine
With a Mooncup and GladRags you
1 Make a one time investment of $50 for 5 or more years of menstruating
2 Reuse your menstrual cup and pads which are worry free so you only have to attend to them once or twice a day, is so clean you almost don't ever see any blood, EVER except when you are dumping it in the toilet and has virtually no odor.
3 Simply rinse your cup (or wipe it out if you're in a public restroom) after dumping in the toilet and reinsert. Give it a good cleaning at the end of your cycle and it waits for you in it's pretty bag (included) until next month. To clean your pads: Soak in cold water (if you need to) then rinse and wash in your machine with warm or cold water (never hot, it sets the stains) with the regular wash, no extra load, nothing goes to waste. Hang or tumble to dry with the rest of your laundry. A whole cycles worth of pads, even if you don't use the cup, isn't any bigger than a large bath towel.
4 Reduce irritation and discomfort. You can't feel the cup AT ALL when it's placed right. The cup collects the flow rather than absorbing it, so the vaginal tissues aren't dried out as they can be with disposable tampons. When you wear cloth menstrual pads you feel nothing but dry, soft, fuzzy, comfy flannel and take in no toxins at all. Your Gladrags are made from organic cotton and the Mooncup is medical grade silicone, no leaching or off-gassing what-so-ever. You absorb nothing.
Save money, time and lessen your waste output with reusable menstrual products.
Now you know. I hope I've given you something to think about or perhaps knocked you over the fence if you've been thinking about it already. It's a very small thing to do only a couple of days a month and it really, really can make a big difference.
Would you like to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals such as dioxin in your life? Remove concerns about yeast infections, irritating fibers, possibly cancer causing agents and other skin irritants?
Would you like to reduce your contribution to "disposable" wastes which can take many years to break down, if they break down at all?
Would you like to support small businesses rather than multi-national conglomerate corporations?
Would you like to save hundreds of dollars a year by walking past the "Feminine Products" aisle in the grocery store and never even have to stop? Imagine never running out of pads or tampons again. Imagine never having to make a late night or early morning run to the store to buy over priced, toxic product.
Would you like to discover that cloth pads made from natural fibers have none of the odor associated with paper products and are as easy to clean as washing your underwear?
Would you like to insert a cup in the morning and not have to think about it again until evening?
Would you like to live your ethics by making an easy, healthy lifestyle choice that will significantly lessen your contribution of disposable plastic to landfills?
You can accomplish all of these things and more by switching from disposable pads and tampons to reusable cloth pads and a menstrual cup.
Take my advice: Buy a reusable pads and cup kit like the one I use. They are available for purchase from Gladrags here: Moon Cup and GladRags Kit.