Saturday, October 17, 2009

Not sure how I feel about this yet...

So, I've been playing the "clicking game" for a few minutes now (ok, probably an hour or two), and have stumbled across some interesting things. (The "clicking game" is where you start reading one person's post, click their link, read that, click, read, click, etc. until you don't really know how you got to some very strange topics.) What I ran into, in the long run, were sites devoted to environmentally and eco-friendly sanitary products. I blame you, Dr. Isis. I started on your page, and now look at me!
Now, I like to think most of us girls grew up reading some Laura Ingles Wilder, which was my first memory of learning what a sanitary towel was, and how women handled their oh-so-fun periods. "Back in the old days," women would use cloth, wring it out, and dry it on the line. Not exactly something I see myself doing (I'm sure my neighbors would LOVE that!), but I digress. Now, we have modern (not always comfortable) conveniences like tampons and pads. But, with all the women on the planet, and a large group having a period every month, that's a lot of waste. There's not much we can do about that-once puberty starts, we're pretty much doomed to bloating, food cravings, lethargy, and dealing with a mess. Yes, we can take prescriptions to knock down the occurrence to four times a year, yes we can take prescriptions and meds to decrease discomfort, huge flows, pain, bloating, and most other ailments that can be brought on by our monthly cycle. But there's not much we can do about the waste. Or is there?

There's a growing trend (albeit slowly, since I've never heard of it til wandering the web a while), involving the use of reusable, eco-friendly sanitary products. For those who like pads (and overnight use), there are some rather pretty organic, reusable (washable) products available (second image). I like this site. For those who prefer tampons, there's the Mooncup (first image), and... sea sponges (third image). I really like this idea of reusable, sustainable products, because well, not all of us are strong empowered women who don't care about taking up space in the sanitary aisle. I at least, hate bringing tampons through the register when the cashier's male. I just feel bad for him! Most guys don't like talking about it or acknowledging that we're menstruating, except when it bothers their lives (no sex, we're "PMSing", we're moody, blah blah blah, whine whine whine). Even more that my dislike of shopping for tampons, I love this idea of a reusable product because I hate throwing shit out! I try to recycle everything I can, give things second lives, freecycle, and I shop at the Goodwill! Ok, that last bit's partly because I suck at spending money, but still. While I applaud these sites for developing and marketing environmentally friendly products, I'm wondering if I can actually trust them to try them. Because no matter how many testimonials I read, I'm still going to wonder about the Mooncup leaking, falling out, the sponge getting lost, and getting stains out of the pads (unless they're black or burgundy fabric). But, spending a bit of money to save a lot of money and help the environment might be worth me risking a little embarrassment. What about you?


  1. I have no shame here. I've bought pads et al on the behalf of embarrassed women in the past and I'd easily do so again in the future.

    Based on conversations overheard or otherwise, I'm not certain that something like the moon cup would cover an entire period. If you were to need to engage in strenuous activity, maybe even chasing the bus down, it may slip and spill its contents. You'd probably still need to use tampons or pads for different parts of your period's flow.

    Maybe I should ask one of the local hippies about this..."Hi, my name's Toaster! How do you deal with your period?"

  2. indeed, find me some hippies, ask away, and report back! (please?) :D