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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