Tag Archives | social cause

DIY Pads & Reusable Menstrual Products

A question that bothered me for some time was recently answered by the folks at Lunapads. Have you heard about this company that sells reusable menstrual products?  It might come as a surprise these options even exist. The response to my last article about dioxins in bleached disposable tampons and pads was terrific and I received lots of emails from loyal users of Lunapads and The Divacup saying how much they LOVE these alternatives.  These products are reusable options for menstrual care that helps protect women against nasty chemicals in traditional products (tampons and pads) while also helping the environment.  Isn’t it funny how we try and keep bleached products away from baby’s bottoms by switching to cloth diapers, but don’t stop to think about ourselves and the harm we are causing by using tampons that contain chemicals?  

Lunapads are a reusable option to pads and liners that are simply washed after use.  We know that traditional pads have chemical residues and using 100% cotton or organic cotton against this area of the body is a healthier solution.  For the environment, think about 14 billion pads going into the landfill every year in America.  Saving money is also a solution with Lunapads because you are investing in a product that will last for years.  There is a comparison chart on the Lunapad site that does a great job of showing customers the money they will save over 5 years of using the lunapad liners and pads. 

Now back to the question I wanted answered. I have lots of clothes, towels, etc. that have rips that keep me from wanting to donate them. I can’t bring myself to just throw them in the trash ~ there must be a way to reuse them.  Via twitter, Lunapads answered my question: DIY menstrual pads.  Their blog post includes the pattern and 2 part video (featuring one of the co-founders of Lunapad) and it’s very easy to follow and even a novice person with a sewing machine could sew these. I think it’s pretty cool that the company that created these pads would show women how to make them if they can’t afford to purchase them, or are looking for a way to reuse materials they already own to reuse into pads. They also encourage people that know how to sew to donate homemade pads to two organizations called Pads4Girls and Birth Kit Maxi Pads. The first organization Pads4Girls sends washable pads to school age girls in Africa. The second Birth Kit Maxi Pads includes washable pads in birth kits sent to the woman of rural Uganda.  In this economy in North America isn’t it amazing that anyone can reuse a material from their home, create, and then donate to these wonderful causes with almost no cash spent?  Well done!  That would be a great project for a high school home rec class.  Teaching kids to care about the environment, a social cause, and feel good about starting a project that has such a large impact far away.

The last main product from the Lunapads site that I have to admit startles me every time I see it is called The DivaCup.  There couldn’t be a better name for the purpose of this product! <grin>  It is the replacement for a tampon that is a much healthier option (read Dioxins ~ The Last Place You Want Them for more information on tampons) and comes with nothing to throw away. Like a tampon, it is inserted to collect menstrual flow rather than absorbing it.  The DivaCup is made from soft silicone and is latex-free, BPA-free, plastic-free, and doesn’t contain dye, colors, or additives. For more information click here.  I would have to test The DivaCup personally, but people I know just rave about it and it is a safer alternative to the toxic traditional products that currently rule the market.

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Reaction To Eco Kid’s Birthday Party

I’ve waited almost 1 month to post the reactions from parents and their children to the eco party we hosted to celebrate Francesco’s 6th birthday.  Nobody, and there were 20 kids with parents, had a single negative thing to say.  I wasn’t worried about the reduction of party supplies concerning my guests and I was pretty sure they would like the give-aways…it was feedback about Francesco not getting any presents.  I even had visions of children telling me I wasn’t a nice mommy for taking this away from him, but everybody, including the children loved it!  Most parents had never attended a party where the birthday child’s parent requests that a small donation is brought for the birthday child in lieu of a gift.  The total amount of dollars from the party is split in 1/2, the birthday child can purchase a special gift with their portion and a social cause is the recipient of the other 1/2.  Parents just LOVED this idea!  And the children all thought Francesco was the coolest for helping save the tigers.  Comments from parents included “Love the idea of reducing plastic from the large amount of toys everyone receives at children’s parties” and “My older children heard about Francesco saving the tigers and would like to help the planet at their birthday party too!” .

The best comment from a parent regarding the give-away (planter that was wrapped with a brown recyclable bag, with dirt and seeds) was “This is bar none, by far, no doubt about it.. the VERY BEST giveaway we have ever seen. And I love the fact that there is nothing commercial about it!! And it’s so… well, uh…. GREEN!!!! The planter alone serves as a constant reminder that we need to “get back to the basics” with the kids…  LOVE IT!!!”

As mentioned before, Francesco decided to donate 1/2 of his birthday money raised at the party to help the tigers.  We donated his money via the online donation through the Wildlife Conservation Society’s website.  If your child is a fan of wild animals, their website has some great information, very child friendly, and interesting.  Their commitment to involving children with the conservation of wild animals is clear.  One feature of their site has an awesome game for kids to play and learn (no donation is required) how their actions affect wild life and the planet.  The page is called The Human Footprint and there are three steps to complete.  First you choose to ‘Learn’ and you select one of the 31 animals featured.  It gives you information about where that endangered animal lives, the problem the animal faces, what the WCS is doing to help, and how your child can help in the long term or within 24 hours.  Pretty neat that my child can feel immediately empowered that they are helping their favorite animal!  The 2nd step to this exercise is to ‘Act’ , so you select the ‘I want to help GO’ arrow where your child can read about global challenges and options they can commit to in order to help their animal.  They can then select the ‘I want to do it’ box and realize that a very easy act can help make a difference for animals and the planet.

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Eco Kids Birthday Party

Every aspect of a traditional kids party involves excessive waste. From paper invitations, decorations (plates, napkins, cups, etc.), presents, goodie bags…..I could go on! Times are changing and parents are looking to reduce, re-use and recycle even at their kid’s parties. When explained to children at the right age, you can give them a valuable education regarding helping our planet and the benefits of helping a social cause.

My son’s 6th birthday is approaching and we are trying to make it as green as possible…I’ve listed some tips that we’ll be following to create a fun, eco party!

Evite www.evite.com invitations to reduce paper.

Minimal decorations….we are having a ‘Superman’ theme, but my big boy has agreed that only 1 decoration on the wall is ok. We’ll later post it in the toy room or his room so it gets some use.

I usually buy matching themed napkins, cake/food plates, table cloth, cups and goodie bags. This will all be eliminated and we’ll use what the facility provides and bring re-usable cake plates.

I won’t be making my own cake, but doing this helps reduce the waste of plastic packaging from a ‘store bought’ cake.

The goodie bags are wood planter boxes that a local carpenter created. They will come unassembled, with instructions on how to assemble, nails, a bag of soil, and a bag of seeds. I’ve always loved the gardening theme for give aways because it gives kids a lasting project and gets them outside in the fresh air.

Presents….hmmm now here comes the tough one. Continue Reading →

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