Thursday, February 10, 2011

Green Living: You've Got Options Baby!

Frozen Hearts- Treasures by Teala

This is a topic that people don't really like to talk about. We tip-toe around this natural part of a woman's cycle. But no more! Yep, that's right, today I'm talking about options for menstruation.

Why? Because it is completely natural. There's nothing dirty or gross about it. And it's because we're embarrassed to talk about it that you might not have considered all the options available to you. I frankly think it is important to know your options so that you can make an informed decision. And for men reading this? Thank you first of all! I love all my followers & appreciate you! I really hope this topic doesn't make you feel uncomfortable. But I won't apologize if it does. Remember, the women in your life that you love all have, used to have, or will have a menstrual cycle. If you're a boyfriend, husband, or a father, don't you want to know the healthiest options available? Common' guys, I know you like that area, you should care about it's health too!

Fun fact: Did you know that more testing has been done on the effects of bleach (a known carcinogen) in coffee filters than in tampons? And think about where the tampon is going!

So, here are some options you might not have considered:

The Diva Cup: The Diva Cup (pictured left) is a reusable silicone menstrual cup. There is nothing to throw away, so you reduce waste, and save money. A one time purchase is ~$35. Believe it or not, the Diva Cup is over 75 years old!

Unbleached Organic Cotton Tampons: Tampons are available that have not been bleached and do not contain synthetic fibres such as rayon or chemical additives such as binders or surfactants. And because these tampons are made from organic cotton, there will be no traces of pesticides or fertilizers used in industrial cotton farming. As with most organic products, these are generally more expensive than traditional tampons.

Reusable cloth pads: Made of machine washable fabric, these pads can be used again and again, so you'll save money and reduce waste. I've shown two examples of reusable pads. They come in lots of different colours, I just happen to like pink. The pad with wings is from Moms Craft 4 U, and the pad without wings is from lovely lovely. These shops are generously offering coupons to you readers interested in trying out a reusable cloth pad:

Moms Craft 4 U: Use the coupon code GIVEAWAY2010 at checkout for 10% off your purchase until Mar 31/10

lovely lovely: Use the coupon code 21century at checkout for 10% off your purchase.

Menstrual suppression: The final option? Well, that I'm going to mention at least...Don't get your period. There are several types of birth control pills that suppress monthly bleeding. Unlike traditional birth control where you take a pill for 21 days, followed by a seven day break (often there are seven sugar pills to keep you in the habit of taking a pill every day), pills that suppress menstruation are taken 365 days a year. The result? No menstrual period. This is an option you need to talk to a doctor about because it requires a prescription. As with any prescription, you should really do your homework before taking it. I don't know enough about it, I can't recommend it or advise against it. But it is an option women can consider.

So, I hope all these options give you something to think about. And if you're happy with what you use now, that's great too. It's your choice. The purpose of today's blog is simply to help you make an informed choice.

My inspiration for today's blog came from a wonderful episode of the CBC radio program 'Ideas' called Seeing Red about the cultural and historical perspective of menstruation. It's worth a listen! I especially LOVE the part where they read a poem about if only men had periods, so funny!

The photograph at the top of the blog post is one of my originals. It, along with a growing collection of photography and handmade jewelry are available for purchase from my online shop.


  1. I've been using reusable, organic cotton pads for several years now and love them. Lunapads is my company of choice, there's no going back for me. :)