TMP Countdown: 229 Days.
I’ve been something of an eco-conscious and natural health person since I became an adult and was able to step out from under the influence of my litter-bug mother who will argue against global warming until she’s blue in the face. I recycle bottles and cans, I blue-bag cardboard, I recycle and reuse and prefer non-toxic cleaning (vinegar!) and laundry products (currently Arm & Hammer Essentials Free is my favourite). I do my best to avoid using plastic bags at the grocery store and I wash and reuse all of my Ziploc bags until they are falling apart. I plan to Cloth Diaper my kid(s), my dog and cat eat a combination of raw and holistic dry food (Orijen) and I prefer to reach for natural remedies over traditional medications. Heck, even the prenatal vitamin I’m taking is made by Jamieson.
Oh, I don’t claim to be 100% green – I fill my ’05 Ford Focus with gas and I drive it every day. I use paper towel and coffee filters (k-Cups actually!) and I don’t have a compost bin in my kitchen…yet. I love plastic straws and I don’t line-dry all of my laundry (only about 25%). But I try to be environmentally friendly where I can and I do my best to ensure that the products that I’m using in my home and on my person are natural and non-toxic.
****Warning: if you’re a guy (doubtful but hey, anything’s possible!) who is reading this blog, hi! Thanks for stopping by! You’re going to want to shut this screen down now and go have a beer because things are about to go all Estrogen-laden and bloody. But thanks for stopping by! Can I have your number? [Close. Window. Now.]****
Which brings us to a little something called disposable menstrual pads.
For years I’ve avoided thoughts of where those disposable pads go after they leave my garbage pail. The imaginary scene of stranger’s soiled pads being heaped on top of mine under a layer of dirt…ugggggg. I think I might just faint, and I have no problems at all with blood. It’s just, ew. Not only do I cringe at the thought of all of the waste that these babies cause, but the remnants of someone’s – of my! – shedding v-jayjay is, as I type this, lying in a landfill somewhere and possibly being pecked by seagulls. *Gulp*
[And before you tell me that there’s worse in landfills…I know. This is my own personal demon which means you are not required to feel the same way or even understand my squee-ishness]
I’ve also, until recently, avoided thoughts of re-usable menstrual pads. Wash my own bloody pads?? Gross. Except, well, maybe not. How’s that any worse than washing an explosive diarrhea episode off of a cloth diaper? But what about during the day, I’m not really inclined towards toting around a blood-stained and possibly odorous pad in my purse while I’m at work. Ew. So I did some research, and found that there are all sort of wet/dry bag options that work well for dirty pads, and that cloth pads are statistically odor-free and much more sanitary! And there’s a company who makes re-usable pads that require only a change of liner!
Beyond that, there is an extremely compelling reason to switch to a cloth pad: saving money. BIG TIME. I spend about $6 on a package of 18 Kotex pads with wings. I go through about 4 pads a day during my menses, which lasts about 5 days. That’s a pack of pads a month, totaling $72/year. Really, not that much money, until I add in the 19 years that I’ve been purchasing disposable pads…that’s $1,368.00 that I’ve spent on something that is uncomfortable, and which I’ve long suspected causes me actual physical pain due to an allergic reaction. The adhesive stays stuck to my underwear, and sometimes when I’m changing it the entire pad splits in half!
So I’ve decided to take the plunge and at least give cloth menstrual pads a chance. I’m going to order a Starter Kit from LunaPads, as well as a Planet Wise Mini Wet/Dry bag from Parenting by Nature (I just prefer this bag to the Moon Pad bag that LunaPads sells – the Planet Wise bag has a locking zipper and is sized better!). If nothing else, having to launder the cloth pads will be good practice for dealing with cloth diapers!
Oh, I received my Bummis NB cloth diapering package! Gratuitous pictures to follow; I got 2 NB Bummis Super Brite covers (pictured) and a dozen Pre-Folds: