Fair warning to those who are tired of reading about my feminine hygiene opinions: you might want to pass on this one.
Anyone still with me?
As you may know, I love the Divacup. I started using it just before we began the Clean Bin Project to avoid waste from tampons. It’s generally pretty great, but occasionally I have some sort of technical error where I just can’t get it to work properly.
I had one such day a little while ago, and I had actually given up on my beloved Diva for the day and used (gasp) a tampon, when a package arrived. It was a sampler pack of Lunapads (yes, I knew they were coming, but I’m not exaggerating – the timing was impeccable).
Before you wrinkle your nose at reusable cloth pads, let me assure you that I, myself, am not generally a fan of any pads. I stopped using them sometime in high school and never went back. The bulky packaging, the waste, the feeling of wearing a diaper all weren’t for me.
But, if anything, this project has taught me to keep an open mind. (Heck, I never thought I’d be brushing my teeth with baking soda, but look at me now). So when I was offered a sampler pack of Lunapads, I said I’d give it a go. I tried the pack pictured above: 1 pantyliner, 1 pad, and 2 liners that fit inside the pad and can be switched out.
Surprisingly, I liked them. They’re not nearly as bulky as I remembered pads being “back in the day”, and it’s really no big deal to throw the pads in the washer. I know that when I was younger, the thought of washing pads would have made me think “ick”, but the older I get, the more accepting of my body I get, and the more I think “what’s the big deal?”.
Personally, I liked the liners better because they are thinner and smaller. I actually went and bought a couple more, so I can have 3 on rotation. They snap together under your underwear, so they are a little uncomfortable when riding a bicycle, but unless you’re a bike courier, I don’t think it would be a problem. And let me tell you; not a single leak.
Most importantly, I feel way better about my environmental impact using Lunapads than using traditional pads or liners. Once you realize that the average North American woman spends up to $2,500 on approx. 11,000 pads or tampons in her lifetime, you realize that were are collectively having a pretty big impact in terms of waste. And I’m thinking that it’s an impact that is pretty darn easy to avoid.
My only question is why aren’t alternatives like the Divacup or Lunapads talked about in schools? Growing up, I thought I had two choices: tampon or pad. If girls were given more options, I think they’d be more inclined to choose reusables in their teens instead of waiting (like me) until adulthood.