• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • thomas rubino
  • Bill Crim
  • Kim Goodwin
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Amit Enventres
  • Mike Jay
  • Dan Boone

BBC - The people fighting pollution with plastic-free periods  RSS feed

 
master steward
Posts: 10980
Location: Left Coast Canada
1896
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I saw this article on the BBC and was impressed.
   They talk about the problem with disposable period products and the diva cup as a solution.

Personally, I find the diva cup a bit weird, but reusable cloth pads are another good option.

What other solutions are there?
Historically, a lot of women have used washable cloths to absorb blood.

Refined versions of this, in the form of reusable pads, have actually taken off as a plastic-free solution and are now being sold by retailers online.

Technological development has meant absorbent underwear has emerged as a solution. Thinx is the best known brand, partly due to a row over its provocative adverts on the New York subway system.

Their products are designed to absorb menstrual flow on light to medium days or act as a back-up method.


 
gardener
Posts: 789
Location: Ohio, USA
89
dog fish food preservation forest garden fungi solar trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah, the cup up there wouldn't work with me, knowing myself.  The pads or underwears sounds okay... the problem is logically handling them when out and about and through the wash.  I assume that would be a separate wash, and then you'd need a separate laundry bag that would need to fill and that could take a week, which then could be pretty nasty.  And when out on the town would you take a backpack or diaper bag? Might be a little awkward...

It would be awesome if there was a little water proof reusable shell and a biodegradable insert maybe? Maybe I'm over thinking it.
 
raven ranson
master steward
Posts: 10980
Location: Left Coast Canada
1896
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For my cloth pads, I soak them for a day in cool water then toss them in the wash with the other clothing.  The rinse water washes out the stain.  The biggest problem I have with mine is that they don't dry fast enough on the line, so I end up putting them in the dryer.

If I can't wash the pads right away, I soak them for a day, then dry them until the next wash day.
 
master steward
Posts: 5218
Location: Pacific Northwest
1503
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids cooking wood heat
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I save my pads up for about three days, and then wash them like I wash my daughter's diapers, except with no hot wash, because heat sets blood stains and shrinks the wool backing that I have on mine. So, basically I run a "small" load with just the pads and lots of soap, and then do a big rinse on it, to make sure the soap all gets out. I found with my kids diapers, if I don't use enough soap, they don't get clean, and if I don't rinse them enough, the soap binds to the cotton fibers and makes them less absorbent.

If I'm only gone for a few days, I'll bring all my pads and store what's been used in a "wet bag" (I have one made from PUL fiber, which I made for my son's diapers before I realized PUL was essetially plastic...). If I'm going for a long trip, I use 7th Generation Pads. But, since I don't go on a long vacation more than once per year (if that), and it's a 3/4 chance that that won't occur on my period, I don't feel too bad. In fact, I'm still using up the stash of pads I bought over 3 years ago...

I also have no desire to use a menstrual cup, nor have ever used one. I also don't like tampons--so pads are definitely it for me!
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 5218
Location: Pacific Northwest
1503
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids cooking wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This post might be helpful for those looking to find more ecologically sound period product. Two years ago I tried to give an

overview of the various options out there

Edit: And upon reviewing that thread, I remembered that there ARE non-plastic, disposable pads. Natracare makes them. So, if I ever need to buy disposible pads, I'll be getting some of those!

Editing again: I found there's even more brands of biodegradeable pads, though Naturacare does have the largest selection (they even have postpartum liners--oh how I wish I knew about those a year and a half ago. I'd bought the 7th Generation overnight pads, as I was familiar with them and knew them to be absorbant. I also worked really hard to NOT work so I could heal up, and ate lots of vitamin K rich foods. With my son, I'd bled for probably over a month, with heavy bleeding. With my daughter, I was done bleeding heavy after three or four days, and done bleeding entirely in a few weeks).

Anyway, here's the other biodegradable pads. Hopefully I'll be able to edit this again to add in descriptions, but for now, it's bedtime, so I'll just give you the links (I'm linking to their heavy pads, though they have other types as well):

  • Organyc
  • Sakhi--avaiable in India, not America
  • Honest Company
  • Oi 100% Organic Pads
  • Rael--not 100% positive that these are biodegradable. Company states that it's COTTON is 100% biodegradable--no mention of the liner on the back
  •  
    steward
    Posts: 2814
    Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
    455
    bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Gotta speak up for menstrual cups - they are awesome!
    Mine (a Diva cup) is made of silicone and can be used and reused for years, probably decades. 
    You have to fold it to insert it, and then I recommend twirling it to make sure you have it well placed, but that's it!
    In a small bathroom, it's easy to rinse out, if you have to empty it in a bathroom stall you just wipe it out with toilet paper.
    No big whoop.
     
    gardener
    Posts: 1474
    Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
    167
    food preservation greening the desert solar trees
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I use just about everything, except pads: yuck! Guess it takes all kinds, huh?

    My main method is tampons. For years I used o.b., until on this very forum, I think it was Jocelyn who pointed out that the ingredients openly include polyester, and I suddenly realised that those little squares of white non-woven fabric I was pulling out of the toilet manure all these years were not from volunteers using disposable hand-wipes, but from me! Oops!

    So I buy two brands of all-cotton organic tampons in the US, Seventh Generation and Natracare organic tampons. Such luxury to just drop tampons right down the composting toilet. I can tell you what that tiny 5th pocket on jeans is for: it's for plastic tampon wrappers!

    But the all-cotton tampon brands don't come in the "ultra" size that o.b. offers so I was getting some leakage, so I also bought "period panties."

    Period Panties (big black panties with a triple layer in the middle panel) are great for that little extra leak when using a less than optimal solution, or shoulder days, or when you expect your period. I wouldn't rely on them as the sole method through a period, but they're great for allowing a little first leak to warn you to run to the bathroom without fear of leaking out onto clothing.

    I wash period panties in the sink when I get home: rinse as throughly as possible, then apply whatever bar soap is around and scrub the cloth against itself vigorously. Then rinse again, wring out as hard as possible (really put your back into it), snap out hard so that it will dry soft and straight, and hang. Doesn't take but a minute or three, especially if on the same day.

    I bought a pack of "Keepers" years ago, which were an earlier version of menstrual cups. They have strict warnings not to reuse them but of course I do, and one pack has lasted at least ten years. When I'm travelling in other parts of India where water toilets and especially squat toilets are the norm, cups are the best: nothing to throw away, water available, and squatting is the best position for pulling these out and washing them. I don't feel I'd like to just wipe it with paper and stick it back in, though. There's always one in my travelling bag so that at least I have that even if I haven't carried enough tampons. I don't use it much in Ladakh, where there aren't many water toilets.
     
    Posts: 2
    Location: Brook Park, MN
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I use the Diva cup and I love it. However, I bleed quite heavily and it sometimes leaks a bit before I can make it to the toilet.

    I hate all of the pads on the market presently. I am working towards being "money-free" (that's what my husband and I call the week after payday and we are trying to get to the point where we don't need to work 40 hour weeks), so I am unwilling to spend on the expensive organic cotton pads on the market. Plastic is also brutal against the sensitive skin there, so I have sworn off the junk thin pads in the grocery store.

    I learned from some Amish friends that you can use washcloths or hand towels instead. Because I use the Diva cup, I very rarely bleed through the towel. Yeah, the hand towels are a little diaper-feeling, but I live in the middle of nowhere (BFE), so don't care what I look like. I use them in the day or so before my flow is serious enough to use the cup. That way, I'm ready for a sudden gush, if it comes.

    And because they are washcloths (or even bits of old towels--I use dark colors), I don't have to suffer the responsibility of staining some adorable pattern on some cloth pad lovingly made by a woman who thinks I want Siamese cats on the fabric of my pad. Okay, maybe rude, but I am deeply practical.

    As mentioned by others, I rinse them out after I take them off and wash them with my other clothes. Never had an issue and I've been doing this for 7 years or so.

    Also, I do not have running water, so this can all be done being a water miser. I don't actually rinse my Diva cup every time I use it. I don't have water in my composting outhouse, so I wash it at the end of the day in my wash basin. I know that is not suggested, but, again, I have been doing this for a very long time and I have never had any trouble.

    In living close to the land, I have become very comfortable with my menses.
     
    Posts: 131
    9
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Menstrual blood is good for plants. Historically it was used that way.
     
    PI day is 3.14 (march 14th) and is also einstein's birthday. And this is merely a tiny ad:
    DIY solar dehydrator - have you built one?
    https://permies.com/t/90672/DIY-solar-dehydrator-built
    • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic
    Boost this thread!