Yeah, yeah. I know it’s Tuesday. See yesterday’s post for an explanation.
Today we’re going to talk about reusable products for women. Specifically, menstrual products.
I know, it’s one of those fun blog posts, right? You see why it’s taken me so long to get around to after originally mentioning it in October?
I want to say at the outset that while I do call myself a bra-burning feminist and a hippie and a lot of other fun stereotypes, I don’t finger paint with bodily fluids (NSFW!).* And I’m not particularly in tune with the miraculous thing of wonder that is (apparently) my uterus. In my particular worldview, it’s all just part of the daily mechanics of living. I brush my teeth, I wash my hair, and for 4-7 days a month, I have to deal with this aspect of womanhood.
We all know it’s not always pretty. But I’m here to say, it can be clean, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly.
Let’s say you use tampons. Depending on flow, you might go through 4-8 per day. Which could add up to a possible 16 (if you’re very, very lucky) to 56 (if you’re very, very not) per month. Or 192-672 per year. We’ll assume you fall somewhere in the middle of that range. Amazon informs me that a 20-per box of Tampax costs about $10 each (yes, I had to check — it’s been a while). So at minimum, you’re probably spending $100 on feminine hygiene per year. Just a rough estimate and you can tell me if I’m wrong. Go ahead.
Moreover, every single used tampon you discard is going into a landfill. Or into the sewage system. Not to mention the chemicals and materials they use to make them are less than world friendly.
(I told you this was going to be a fun post, didn’t I?)
The thing is that there are options for feminine hygiene that aren’t disposable and can save you $60 per year. (I sound a bit like a cheesy commercial, don’t I?)
Now I hate to do product plugging (haha?) but I can only really talk about the product I have experience with — and that product is the DivaCup.
Basically, it’s a reusable device you insert during your cycle and empty as needed. It’s made out of silicon and it’s completely comfortable. They’re good for use for at least a year and you can wear it safely for twelve hours at a time. LunaPads sells a wash to clean it with but regular soap works fine, too. I’ve been using them for eighteen months and it’s more or less awesome. Tampons are off the shopping list and I don’t have an overwhelming pang of guilt every time I empty the trash.
You might rightly ask if emptying or inserting the cup is weird and I can say honestly: no weirder than using the disposable stuff. I mean, it’s hard to avoid the reality of what’s going on with your body every month, you know? So why not deal with it in a way that is both convenient and ethical?
For those of you who are more interested in pantyliners, LunaPads sells those, too. And I would encourage anyone who’s looking at reusable options to do their research and shop around for an option that works for them. But there are plenty out there and I can promise you, it’s not a big deal to switch. Moreover, it’s not like anyone else knows the difference. Unless you take up that finger painting.
Man, aren’t you glad we got that out of the way?
*There’s absolutely nothing wrong with expressing yourself in whatever medium makes you happy. Then again, I’m not sure I need to know about it. Thank you, internet.