The following resources are related women’s issues. If you are easy grossed out, this post is not for you.
The reusable tampon is healthier for you, better for the environment, and will save you money. I first learned about “The Keeper” at women’s clinic in the 1980’s. I used it for many years without a problem. It was so comfortable that I would forgot I was wearing it. To learn more about The Keeper, visit http://www.keeper.com.
After my child was born, I needed to replace The Keeper. I read reviews about The Keeper and The Diva Cup. They seemed to be identical so I purchased the The Diva Cup because it cost less. I used it for many years, but it applied uncomfortable pressure on my insides when I was retaining water. Because I retained water the first few days of my period nearly every period, I used pads for those days. For more information about the Diva Cup, visit http://divacup.com/how-it-works/sizing.
I have told this story countless times and encouraged my friends to buy this product. This alternative pays for itself within 4-6 months. To read detailed product reviews, please visit http://labyrinth.net.au/~obsidian/clothpads/Cups.html.
The regular price for a menstrual cup is about $37.00. I have seen it on sale for as low as $19.50 with FREE shipping and handling. This is huge money saver and a great product to have available even if you only use for emergencies. Be sure to get the right size. SIZE B – is for women before bearing a child or if she only had a Cesarian birth. Read more at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0016D7S28/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&smid=A2UILHLLDUMCAM. SIZE A – is for woman you had natural births. Read more at http://www.amazon.com/Gladrags-The-Moon-Cup-Size/dp/B001HB3F08/ref=pd_bxgy_hpc_text_y.
I have used hand-made menstrual pads for decades with no problems. Here is a review of various cloth pads: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2012/03/my-mama-cloth-adventures-and-review-of-four-sources.html#more-14757.
Here is one of many articles on how to make your own: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2009/07/make-your-own-cloth-pads.html.
CLOTH WIPES AND CLOTH TP
During my son’s diaper years, I used cloth diapers and homemade baby wipes. The baby wipes were made of old, thick, cotton tee shirts. I used a small bottle of soapy water to wet one before use. I also keep a stash of homemade wipes, known as “family cloth” on hand so I can make do without one-use TP until my next trip to the store. For more information, visit:
HOW TO WASH PADS, DIAPERS AND WIPES
I gathered and washed these separate from regular laundry due to the higher bacterial content. I rinsed them until the water ran clear, then added laundry detergent and vinegar. Then let this special laundry soak like that until I had gathered enough for a full load of laundry or just added it to my regular laundry. The following resources are about alternative washing methods:
- http://www.thefoosers.com/FiveGallonBucket/clotheswasher.html – This bucket and plunger washer is close to what I did for many years when camping, or for diapers, wipes and pads. I used a bucket and mini plunger that were used exclusively for this special laundry.
- http://change-diapers.com/2012/02/washing-cloth-diapers – in depth survey
- http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-furnishings/tiny-washing-machine – I would not pay $50 for this. I am posting it because I would use this design to come up with my own home made version of this mini washer. I think a plastic jug with a secure lid and rolled on the ground would suffice. I also think the comments left on the “The Tiny House Blog” are an excellent resource for gleaning off-grid living tips.
HERBAL SUPPORT FOR MENSES
While I am on this subject, I want to mention that Red Raspberry Leaf by Nature’s Way comes highly recommended among my friends who are prone to painful periods. The following is a friend’s description of it: “Red Raspberry capsules have transformed my period from heavy flow and painful cramps to normal flow and no pain. It also improved my mood and irritability in general. The best price is at Vitacost.com. You can also buy the capsules or tea at Sprouts. I take two capsules, during my period and one capsule throughout the month when I remember. I want to say one a day, but the reality is I don’t take all the time, but it still helps so much. I ran out one month, and had an awful period, so now I make sure I have it on hand.”
FREE PLANT FOOD
The rinse water from diapers, wipes, pads and menstrual cups are excellent plant fertilizer. For more information, visit http://greenthumbs.tribe.net/thread/22c85025-3e86-490a-9922-610542494a13.
I also highly recommend this for convenience while traveling and camping: http://www.amazon.com/pStyle-Lavender/dp/B002AA8GDG/ref=pd_sim_hpc_1. The product description is: “The pStyle is a device that allows women… to pee standing up without undressing…. the pStyle directs the flow away from the body. The rounded back edge can be used to wipe, so there are no drips! It is easy to clean…”
- http://womenofgreen.com/2012/11/give-your-bra-a-second-life – “Over in Japan, women are encouraged to recycle their brassieres so that they can be converted into fuel. Meanwhile, Oxfam is working hard to upcycle bras in the UK with its Big Bra Hunt campaign.”