I don't consider myself "green." I certainly don't think I'm all that crunchy or granola. I don't sweat the environment and I'm not particularly concerned about the impact man has on Earth. Among my more eco-conscious friends, I'm probably considered as wasteful as the rest of the planet. But, as compared to eco-friendly friends who pay lip service to "saving the environment" or some such, I'd say that I'm a hard-core crunchola. See, Lisa, I told you I'd use your word!
Who are the lip service eco-warriors? They are the people who make a big deal about driving a hybrid, eating locally grown organic foods, and avoiding those big & scary chemicals and toxins. I can't help but raise a figurative eyebrow when they don't seem to have a problem eating processed foods or snacks if "natural" or "organic" is on the label. It's doubly hilarious if they partake in such so-called healthy snacks while indulging in alcohol. Um, okay. I guess ingesting poison is okay if it makes you more lively at parties. Though some were able to breastfeed, they didn't have a problem with feeding formula to their newborn baby. But, hey, it must be healthier than breastmilk since the formula was mixed with soy milk (instead of that evil cow milk I guess), right? I facepalmed when someone actually told me (of all people!) that they were afraid to get their formula-fed & disposable-diapered infant vaccinated because vaccines "aren't natural." For once in my life, I actually held my tongue and changed the subject. I did learn later from the grandmother that the little one ended up fully vaxed.
I don't care what personal decisions people make, but I am amused when their own actions and choices seem at such odds with their own beliefs. Interestingly enough, I'm considered pretty radical (and not in the cool 80s way) because of the way I manage my period these days. Personally, the environmental and personal health aspect isn't what inspired me to use a reusable menstrual product. It was all about the cost savings for me. But I'm surprised that environmentally friendly people recoil at the idea of shunning disposable menstrual products. It seems to me that greening up your period is a no-brainer for those who are concerned about the environment, personal health, and/or saving money.
Thanks to the Diva Cup, I no longer throw a box of tampons in the garbage (thus, the landfill) every 20 to 30 days. Sure, if you aren't on a septic system (as I am), you could flush tampons away to the sewage system. But understand that flushing them away doesn't make them disappear. Disposable menstrual products (tampons and pads) generate a lot of waste and my personal waste has been significantly reduced by using a reusable product.
I don't get all worked up over chemicals, but I no longer have to shove bleached (or unbleached) fibers up my hoo-haw. Tampons absorb and pull out all moisture, not just menstrual blood. The Diva Cup is smooth and comfortable and doesn't leave me with that unpleasant Sahara desert-feeling in my vagina at the end of my cycle.
I've been using the Diva Cup for many cycles now and I essentially get my period for free every month. Sure, I spent more money up front, but it paid for itself in tampon savings by the fifth cycle.
One thing has been bothering me though. I still use disposable liners - just in case. I don't think that using a few liners every month is going to destroy the planet or my budget, but I know that there are more comfortable options. As a bonus, these options are washable and, therefore, are reusable. That means that they will ultimately end up being a less expensive option to deal with something that happens every single month.
I mentioned to my husband that I might like to purchase some mama cloth as a backup for my heavy-flow days. My husband calmly gave me The Look and asked if I'd like him to procure some Cherokee Hair so I can make my own tampons. That's a South Park reference, in case you were wondering. He then suggested that I might be able to sweep up enough dog hair from the floor to weave my own absorbent pads. Then I gave him The Look followed closely by The Finger. I realize now that I should have just bought the damn LunaPads or GladRags or whatever and not involved him at all.
But my husband's smart mouth really got me thinking. . .
How hard can it possibly be to make your own mama cloth? I'm not particularly crafty, but I suspect that even I could figure out how to make my own liners. Then my frugal brain kicked into overdrive and I wondered if I could just repurpose my son's old diaper inserts instead? I have microfiber, bamboo blend, and cotton inserts and I'm nearly positive that I could somehow fashion them into liners. My problem is that I don't sew and I don't know how to use a sewing machine, but I'm almost certain that I could do it by hand. Can't I? Has anyone made their own mama cloth liners? What materials did you use? Other than de-valuing the diapers, is it totally wrong to consider repurposing my son's old diaper inserts? Any tips or advice would be appreciated!