Friday, May 20, 2011

The Longest Journey Begins....

The longest journey begins with a single step Attributed to Lao-tzu (c 604- c 531 bc)

I'm going to share one of the things I do to try to lower my impact on the environment.  We all know that using less paper products, and using reusable products like cloth napkins instead of paper, and cloth cleaning rags instead of paper towels is better for the environment.  I also think we are all on a journey to become more environmentally aware, and depending where you are on your environmental journey you might be taking bigger steps than those mentioned. 

I not only do the things listed above, but I also (among other things) use reusable feminine hygiene products.  hmmmm do I hear crickets out there in the blogosphere world?  Possibly.  Do I hear a bunch of my readers gasping omg how can she do that?  Mmmmm pretty possible.  I'm sure a lot of people are wondering why would you use reusable feminine hygiene product?.  Maybe reading this with that interest one does when they see a car accident, and they slow down to stare. I don't  I'm going to do my best to address what I think would be questions or curiosity about this practice.

I will try my best to explain why I use reusable feminine hygiene products.  First and foremost the environmental impact.  That would also be the same reasons I used reusable diapers as I didn't want to be throwing those things into landfills.  There are those that argue oh but you are using more water, and electricity.  Yes to wash them I'm using water, and power they then get hung to dry.  No matter how much water I use to wash my pads that amount of water doesn't come close to the water, and power used to manufacture these products.  Then there is the cost factor.  Reusable products cost less.  I figure my stash cost me $60, and I've heard that pads can last 4 years so if you work it out that's $1.24 a month.  If they last longer than that then that per month cost would be even lower.  Now to keep me in disposable products I'd be looking at about between $10 - $15 a month.  That money is better in my pocket trust me ;)   Then there is what I believe to be health benefits.  I think using less chemicals, (and yes to get the disposable products white they do use chemicals) is a more healthy way to live.  Some will even say their cycles are lighter, and fewer cramps though I haven't noticed any of those benefits personally.  Now another reason I like use reusable is I like knowing that when I buy these products I'm supporting often a female small business owner that is able to run her business out of her home.  I soooo LOVE this idea!  I love the idea of being able to support someone running a home based business, and getting a great quality product out of it for sure a a win, win situation.  Then there is the fact that I NEVER run out.  I never have to run out and grab more disposable products.

Now I'm sure some of you are sitting there shaking your heads thinking 'oh poor her doesn't she realize it is 2011 there is no NEED to take steps back & use RAGS.  Disposable products came about to liberate women.'  Well I use reusable products, because it is 2011, and I have the choice, and very proud to have that choice as to what goes into, and against my body.  I feel very empowered that all women can make that choice as to what is better for them.  Every person makes their own choice, and I don't judge if someone uses disposable products they are just at a different point on their Environmental Journey than I am.

I love my resuable products, and wouldn't live without them.  So in saying that here is my stash:

These are two years old, and were the first pads I ever bought 8" in length.

These were my second batch bought from Moms Crafts 4 U of pads, they are about a year old they are 10" in length, they don't have a plu layer.

These I are about 6 months old bought from Moms Crafts 4 U, and also 10" in length, and they have the plu layer.  I love the butterfly pad.

I thought I show the bottom of the pads.  Both of those shown have a plu layer which is leak proof.  I wanted to show the bottoms so that you can see the different ways they can fasten either snaps or velcro. 

This is to give an idea of how thick they are.  They really aren't that thick actually.  They are way thinner than a disposable maxi pad, and slightly thicker than a thin panty liner.

Here is part of an old post where I wrote my own FAQ.  Keep in mind a lot of these suggestions are just what I do.  There’s many ways of cleaning & handling cloth pads.

Why cloth pads?~ Well first off cost they are cheaper than buying disposable items.  I believe they are environmentally friendly.  Then there are all the chemicals & dioxins that go into producing disposable items that I don’t need to put in or near my body.  Plus disposable pads would rub & give me almost friction type burns OUCH…lol.

But wait cloth pads aren’t sterile.~ No they are not.  But I have news for you, neither are the disposable ones…lol.  The commercial ones are white only because of the amount of chemicals used to produce them.

But you are using more water to wash them.
~ Not more than used to produce disposable ones, actually much less.

How do they feel when you are wearing them?~ They feel great!!!  They are VERY comfortable!!!   I find they feel much better than disposable pads.  There’s no rubbing & I don’t get any skin reactions from the cloth ones.

Are they hard to clean?~ Nope!  I rinse mine in cold water & then will wash by hand while I’m in the shower & hang to dry.  I’ll keep doing that during my cycle & then at the end of my cycle I’ll wash all the ‘clean’ pads when I do my regular laundry.

What about stains?~ The ones from
Moms Crafts 4 U are soooooo easy to keep stain free.  I think that’s because she uses cotton fabric.  I find my pads with cotton fleece take a little more effort to keep stain free, but some oxyclean takes care of that.

Do you just use cloth pads?~ No I also use the Instead Cup, but I need to upgrade, and buy a Diva Cup.  I need both a cup & the pads it’s just the type of cycle I have ~shrug.~

I’m sure there are other questions/concerns I’m missing so if anyone has any please ask & I’ll answer as best I can.


Crunchy Diva said...

yup crickets's okay hopefully I didn't scare everyone away.

Sarah said...

I'm so glad when people are willing to talk about cloth menstrual pads. Yours are so pretty! I can't believe they've held up so well. I hope mine will last that long.

I switched to cloth for the same reasons you did, but I've stayed with them because I love how they feel. So much more comfortable than disposable! I cringe now when I look at disposable pads. I would never go back.

Diana said...

I've never tried reusable but I do use Seventh Generation. They are recyclable, chemical free, and organic. I'm scared of the diva cup and i'm constantly traveling, I'd be scared how I handle the reusable ones. Maybe when I'm not traveling and have more control of these things, I'll try it!

Flora Loveday said...

Wow, did not even realize this was an option. Glad I read about it, and these pads look quite fashionable too!

I am going to have to keep reading through your posts. You have me intrigued!

On another note, found you at the FNF Blog Hop and following you in any way I can :)

Flora Loveday
The Upper Hand

Crunchy Diva said...

@ Sarah ~ hanging them to dry helps with how long they last. plus i'm going to be doing a lot more hand washing so i'm thinking that will help with the life of them too.

@ Diana ~ i haven't used the diva cup YET, but hope to one day. i understand they are good for 12 hours, but i can see how traveling would make things more challenging.

@ Flora ~ it is all about options ;) glad you learned this was an option woo hoo

Flower Photography said...

First I have heard of these - interesting. And what is the instead cup and diva cup? Thanks :-)

Mum of Monsters said...

I think it is great that you do this and that you shared it on your blog!

Personally, its not for me, but because of birth control I don't have a cycle anyways, so really no point. I think it is great for the women that do use reusable pads!

I stumbled upon your blog from the scavenger hunt. A nice fine and another add to my following list.

(ps incase you get two comments from me. I tried commenting on a different post but got an error message.)