Sunday, May 26, 2019

Zero Waste. Period.

This is not a sponsored post, but I do hope to persuade you to take the path that I have with my periods. Yes, I'm going to be talking about menstruation in this post, so if that makes you uncomfortable then perhaps give this post a miss -- though I hope you won't. I'm not shy when it comes to talking about this stuff, so please stick around. I think we all need to be able to talk about this topic more openly.

On my family's journey to become more sustainable at home, it became glaringly obvious that one of the greatest waste producers was coming from my periods. I'd made the switch years ago to cardboard applicators for tampons. And, where I could, I tried to make sure my maxi pads and pantyliners were made from organic cotton as well. But before long, those changes didn't feel like enough to me. OrganiCup even put together a blog post outlining all the environmental impacts.
Read it here.

In a home dominated by females, I knew I wanted to find a more sustainable alternative. I want to start my girls' periods out sustainably from the beginning, so they won't know anything else. I made the switch from tampons to a menstral cup nearly three years ago (in my case I use OrganiCup because it was the first I'd heard about). I was nervous at first, almost like I was when I first got my period at 15 years old. Would it work? Would there be leaks? I was keen to try because I'd heard about more women making the switch. I am very grateful for the internet in times like these because there are always blog posts or tutorials and tips available for people who are willing to take time to do the research.

Needless to say, the switch was easier than I anticipated. At first it felt uncomfortable because I had to get used to placing the cup into the right position, but before long it felt even better than wearing a tampon. And, that's what surprised me most. I expected I would feel good because of the environmental impact of creating less waste, but I didn't expect that it would actually feel better. It's hard to explain, but where a tampon changed the balance of things down there, the cup didn't interfere. Does that make sense? The other bonus was the fact that I didn't every have to worry about forgetting I was wearing it. Women, you feel me, right (mums especially)? We've all either done it or heard about someone who has left a tampon in. I remember I landed myself in the ER one summer for this very reason. Mum brain.

I felt very good about this switch until about a year ago, when I knew I could do more. I'd been seeing more and more of the Facebook ads showing period underwear and I was sure this was the way. I asked girlfriends if any had experiences with them and was surprised to find that quite a few did. I've purchased some for myself, and then after summer, I bought some for my teenage daughter as well. We've had varying success with the different brands we've tried.

I use Thinx and she started with Knixteen. Shortly after using them, she decided that Knixteen weren't as good as the Thinx I use, so I bought her some of the teenage versions of those. I'm not overly thrilled with my Thinx at the moment having used them for nearly a year, so currently, we're both looking to try a different brand. The absorbency tech is important, so you have to make sure to follow washing guidelines. Even doing that, I have found that Thinx has leaked more than I'm comfortable with so I've been researching other brands. I've found one with many more years of successful operation, but also offering additional inserts women can use with their period underwear. That brand is Lunapads. We have high hopes for these. For the next week (till Saturday, June 1), you can get 25% off your order of reusable pads or liners by using the code CLASSIC25.

In any case, we're not going back to using disposable pads or tampons, ever. We'll keep looking till we find the right product for us.

There are two other things I want to share here. First is the trailer for this Netflix documentary which aims to bring light to women's health in poorer countries.

Period. End of Sentence. Official Trailer from Rayka Zehtabchi on Vimeo.

The other is a super cool event taking place in Hong Kong on Tuesday, May 28th.

This Menstrual Awareness Day event aims to raise self awareness and body knowledge. to empower women and help them understand more about their cycles (from how to get pregnant or avoid it, how to manage period pain and how to feel powerful through their cycles. Women will learn to go with their natural flow of energy and learn how their body and brain change through their cycle. Tickets can be bought here. If I hadn't already bought concert tickets, I'd be there. We need more events to empower women this way.

I'm always happy to share more about my experiences, so please message if you have specific questions. I've already chatted with friends and acquaintances about these things and I love being a helpful resource if I can be.

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