A few years ago, my husband, Jacob, had the embarrassing and oft dreaded job (at least in a male’s eyes) of running an errand to pick up tampons. Although he handled it well and the selection, payment and transaction went off without a hitch, he was floored by the cost of the box. His eyeballs just about fell out of his head when he asked “So, how long does this $10 box last you?!” and I answered, honestly, “About one month”. Once he shut his agape mouth and finished muttering holy words, he donned a dumbfounded look. He was even so illogically inclined to absurdly suggest that clearly having children was cheaper than having your period. Huh!? If you work with his logic, Beckett has been taking us to the bank for the past two years.
Disclaimer: Whoops! It’s a little late now, but for those of you with sheepish grins, juvenile monikers or quick gag-reflexes when it comes to “that time of the month” (a.k.a. Aunt Flo’s monthly vacation) – you are now officially warned… I am talking about menstrual cycles this post.
Yes, tampons are expensive and pads are costly. When you consider that most females will menstruate from the time they are an early teenager until they reach their forties or fifties with only a few brief breaks for pregnancy and breastfeeding – the cost of this monthly occurrence adds up quickly if you are buying disposable supplies. I could rail on about the “big picture” cost of one-time use products and the environmental effects of landfill additions, but we’ve been there and done that. It’s obvious that reusable is the way to go (and definitely cheaper than endless childrearing – no thank you, Jacob).
And, a few months ago I covered the health concerns and environmental effects of non-organic, pesticide soaked cotton menstrual pads and tampons.
These two conclusions have led me here – a post that deals directly with reusable, natural alternatives to disposable menstrual products.
GLAD RAGS: Safe·Simple·Smart·Period
One of the easiest transitions our family has made with this project is the adoption of cloth diapers. We’ve got the hang of it and our system works for washing, drying and folding. It seemed only natural for me to add another reusable product to the routine and phase out the endless boxes of pantyliners and pads.
Glad Rags is a company local to the Pacific Northwest (hip, hip, hooray!) and located in Portland, Oregon. It was started by women for women and is focused on providing affordable, high-quality alternatives to disposable menstrual products. They have two different basic product lines; organic cotton and colorful (!) cotton. Both selections have single pantyliners, day pads, night pads and post-partum pads available along with any combination in between. The pads are also bundled into “kits” that pull together a month’s worth of pads and natural stain remover into a reusable soaking bucket for around $100.
Maybe you are asking yourself about the logistics of cloth pads and how they are to handle… Are you? Good, because those are totally legitimate questions and they crossed my mind, too. I think that once you have children, the whole notion of bodily fluids being disgusting or abnormal goes out the window (or down the toilet!). It’s just not a big deal to take your used pad out, put it to soak in cold water or rinse it out in the toilet and drop it in the washer for the next load. The treatment of stains and soiling is similar to cloth diapers – steer clear of detergents that leave residues and obnoxious scents, treat stains with all-natural products like “Bac-Out” from Biokleen and pre-rinse with cold water to keep the stains from setting. If you are looking to save energy you can hang the pads to dry (but, you will NEVER, EVER, under any circumstances find mine hanging outside on the line or in my car window – yes, a friend really saw this at a local store!) or just toss them in the dryer for a cycle. It’s easy-peasy.
So, if you are looking for an affordable alternative to disposable pads and like the option of organic cotton check out Glad Rags. The craftsmanship is truly beautiful, the fabric quality is first class and the absorbency will leave you feeling comfortably dry and secure. Thank you Glad Rags!
Where to buy? Check out the Glad Rags website for more information.
The DivaCup: A Menstrual Solution
I have a confession to make. At first glance, the DivaCup made me giggle and actually react with an “OMG! Who would use this?!?”. Well, guess what? I used it. And, I LOVED it! So, it’s an impressive statement for the DivaCup if my immature, off-the-cuff response can be transformed into advocating support.
To be blunt and clear things up so you don’t continue reading and scratching your head – the DivaCup is a collection device that is worn internally and collects your menstrual fluid. The principal is basic, but the design is original and flawless. The cup is made of medical-grade silicone (latex, plastic and BPA-free) and runs around $38. In addition to the cup, DivaCup also makes an all-natural, plant-based ingredient wash, DivaWash, for cleaning and a reusable cotton bag for breathable storage.
My two favorite things about the cup are the comfort and the worry-free protection. It’s not an exaggeration – this cup is comfortable. You completely forget you are wearing it. It passed the rigorous tests of 90 minutes at the gym doing cardio and weights; endless lifting, carrying and holding of a toddler; non-stop up, down, turn-around day to day duties and a restful night’s sleep tucked in bed. The cup provides protection for 12 hours (you can’t get a pad or tampon that does that) and it completely resists everyday bodily adjustments. Case in point and possibly a bit too much TMI – you can go to the bathroom without removing it or having it fall out.
The insertion is novice-friendly and downright seamless once you get the hang of it. And, the clean-out and re-insertion of the cup is actually pleasant. A rinse in the sink is best, but if you are in a public restroom, a swipe with toilet paper will do just fine. With one flush and a quick clean, you are good to go for another twelve hours.
The DivaCup really is an ingenious product. It’s a wonderful alternative to disposable pads and tampons and offers unsurpassed protection and worry-free ease in an innovative design. So, before you cast out your doubt, give it a whirl – it really is a “menstrual solution”!
Where to buy? Check out the The DivaCup website for more information.
Calling all ladies interested in an alternative! It’s time for the giveaway!!
Interested in entering the giveaway?
Comment on this post and tell me: What is your favorite monthly occurrence (besides the mortgage and your period of course!)?
Want additional entries? You must follow these directions and tell me about them via a comment on this post. Each of these options is available for one single entry per giveaway, not per day.
- Subscribe via email – WordPress or Feedburner (three total entries for becoming or being a current subscriber via email!)
- Subscribe via a reader – Feedburner
- Link the Sacred Bee’s Blog to your website (you must send me the link or a screen shot via a comment on this post)
- Link the Sacred Bee’s Blog to your Facebook page (you must send me the link or a screen shot via a comment on this post)
- Grab the Sacred Bee’s Button and add it to your blogroll or website.
- Follow @sacredbee on Twitter and retweet this giveaway. Notify me of the retweet using a comment on this post. Only one entry per single retweet each day.
- Become a fan of Glad Rags on Facebook.
- Follow Glad Rags on Twitter @GladRags.
Winners will be drawn on Saturday, October 30th, 2010 at 8:00pm PST.