some things just shouldn't be re-usable
WARNING: If you are easily disgusted by a woman's menstrual cycle, do not read this post. Or read it and then make a nasty comment about how I ruined your dinner.
No, really. I do not make this stuff up.
The Women's Health Collective will be holding a menstrual pad making workshop on Sunday, at 10:00 a.m., at the Back to Back cafe (616 E. Burnside). "Come and learn all the different options women have besides tampons and how to make your own resuable pads. Any extra thread, needles or scraps of flannel you can bring would help."
Reusable. Flannel. I had to read that twice.
"6.5 billion tampons and 13.5 billion sanitary pads, plus their packaging, ended up in landfills or sewer systems in 1998. And according to the Center for Marine Conservation, over 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999."
You know, I recycle. Every Sunday night I put out my little green bucket with my newspapers and plastic and metal. But I'll be damned if I'm going extend my environemtal awareness so much that I start reusing my maxi pads. And who the hell is throwing their tampons into the sea? Message in a tampon, anynow?
Over at scarleteen.com, there's a little article about the myths of washable menstrual pads.
2. Theyíre Unsanitary: Stop and think for one minute. Think about your underwear. Thatís right, thatís what I said: think about your underwear. Is your underwear unsanitary? Do you boil it after every wear? Hopefully you donít. Same goes for washable menstrual pads.
Well, I don't know about you, Miss Scarlet Teen, but my undies get washed after every use. Maybe not boiled, but it's something close to that.
Using washable menstrual pads simply means taking a few extra minutes out of your day to rinse out some pieces of cotton and hang them somewhere to dry.
Date: Hey, what are those things hanging in the bathroom?
You: Oh, those are my washable menstrual pads!
Date: Uh, I just remembered I have to scrape my mother's feet tonight.
If youíre like me, and many of the washable pad users Iíve spoken with, you might actually grow to enjoy the time you spend dealing with your pads.
Woohoo! It's Wednesday! Can't wait to get home and wash my menstrual pads tonight!
Bloodsisters,, who describe themselves as menstrual activists, have a nifty suggestion, too:
Other alternatives exist for women. Natural sea sponges can be bought at any pharmacy. Just attach some dental floss for a string. Dip it in boiling water to sterilise it, squeeze and insert as you would any tampon.
I can hear the theme song now:
Who lives in a pussy under the sea?
If pads aren't your thing yet you want to remain environmentally concious, you can always try The Keeper. It's a little cup that looks more like a bathroom plunger (and from the FAQs, sounds like one too). You can use it for up to ten years and the great part is, ou can be super-duper vigilant in your recycling, because you can empty the cup into your garden when you take it out. I kid you not. Apparently plants are vampiric in nature and thrive on blood.
Me, I'll keep my tampons, thank you very much. Maybe I'm being selfish, but I'd rather release my little plastic applicator into the wilds of the New York sewer system than spend a night rinsing out something that's been sitting between my legs all day while I have my period.
Then again, I shave my legs, too. I'm such a radical that way.