Have you tried using a menstrual cup but were unsuccessful? Are you looking to make the switch to a more natural and environmentally friendly way to embrace your monthly cycle? Switching to cloth pads could be the perfect, healthy, holiday gift for yourself; as well as a great way to kick start 2020 in a greener way! You would also be supporting a small, eco-business. Win, win, win! Read our most recent guest writer post from Earth Mama Meg a Canadian, eco-entrepreneur and mother. Meg explains how and why you should make the switch to cloth pads.
Hey! My name is Meg! I am a Work-At-Home-Mama & the chick behind Mama Cloth Boutique! www.MamaCloth.ca
After cloth diapering my little one (and loving it), I made the switch to cloth myself. I did this for environmental and health reasons. I used to get a lot of skin irritation from disposable pads. I was finding Organic cotton pads to be extremely expensive for my budget and the waste factor still bothered me. Cloth has become a huge part of our household now. We have switched to many alternatives such as Cosmetic pads, Wipes, Hankies, Kitchen Rags, Cloth Diapers & Mama Cloth! I love that we are saving money, reducing waste, and protecting our bodies from harmful chemicals!
Environmental impact is very important to our family. We aren’t zero waste, but we do make a conscious effort to decrease one-time use items where we can. A lot of waste is generated from disposable items used on babies (diapers, wipes, breast pads), feminine hygiene products (pads/tampons) or household (Toilet Paper, Paper Towel, Cleaning towels). My goal is to make the world a greener place for our future generations and I hope to encourage you to do the same.
WHY SWITCH TO CLOTH PADS???
-Cheaper than disposables. Yes, cloth pads can be an initial investment but it pays itself off very quickly.
-Many women report decreased period pain simply from being exposed to fewer toxins every month
-Decreased health risks overall
-Reusable (you never run out)
-Soft, breathable, & more comfortable than disposable pads.
-Environmentally friendly & sustainable
-Very absorbent! In fact, cloth pads get more absorbent the more you wash them!
-Reduced skin irritation. Skin irritation is one of the most common complaints I get and can be very easily resolved by omitting disposables because they are filled with plastics and other materials that do not breathe as easily.
-Easy to clean (machine washable)
-Comfortable. Most cloth pads are so comfortable it doesn’t even feel like you are wearing a pad.
-Fun! Different prints and styles can make your period a lot more fun too!
HOW MANY PADS DO I NEED?
Ask yourself two questions when trying to determine this…
1) How many pads do I use a day?
2) How often will I be doing laundry?
I also suggest that you count how many pads you would normally use in a day and multiply that by the number of days until you do laundry. I would suggest at least 10-20 pads (depending on your budget) to go paperless. If you are restricted to a budget, I suggest you buy little by little as you get to know what styles you like. Others go all in at once and that’s okay too! Do what you are comfortable with.
HOW LONG DO CLOTH PADS LAST?
Cloth pads last many, many years if cared for properly & can be reused over & over. The average life of a cloth pad is 6-7 years but some pads last even longer!
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I SAVE?
Cloth Pads do have a bit of an upfront cost but the return is amazing! On average a start-up stash of cloth pads will cost you about $100-$200. The average woman spends about $200 per year on disposable pads or tampons. A cloth pad stash often pays itself off within the first year and you get an average of 6-7 years out of your cloth pads. That’s an incredible saving!
HOW MANY PADS ARE WE KEEPING OUT OF LANDFILLS?
The average woman uses 20-25 pads per cycle. Think about that for a second. On average a women’s cycle lasts about 33 years. That’s an average of 10,000 pads you could be keeping out of the landfills by switching to an environmentally friendly option like cloth pads or a menstrual cup! For every woman that makes the switch to cloth pads or a cup, we will keep 300lb of waste out of our landfills! So yes, one person CAN make a difference!
SOME OF THE IRRITATING & TOXIC INGREDIENTS FOUND IN DISPOSABLE PADS/TAMPONS…
- Synthetic Fibers
- Fragrance Additives
This list is scary! What’s even scarier is that these ingredients are NOT required to be identified on the packaging! Dioxin is a chemical by-product of the bleaching process and is extremely harmful to the human body. Dioxin has been linked to cancer, immune suppression, ulceration, pelvic inflammation disease, reduced fertility, changes in hormone levels, and endometriosis. Once dioxins enter the body, they last a long time because of their chemical stability and their ability to be absorbed by fat tissue, where they are then stored in the body for years and years.
WHY AREN’T THE INGREDIENTS LABELLED ON THE PACKAGING?
Pads and Tampons are considered by the FDA to be “Medical Devices”. Medical Devices are not required BY LAW to have the ingredients listed on the packaging. This makes it very difficult for the consumer to make an informed decision. By labelling pads & tampons as “Medical Devices” it suggests that a woman’s menstrual cycle is not a NORMAL function of the female body. This is false. Menstruation is normal and does NOT require a medical device. It confuses me as to why the FDA is labelling these products as such. Women’s periods are not medical problems that require “devices”. I firmly believe that these disposable products are a massive contributing factor to women’s health issues and I feel like it is being completely overlooked. The vagina is an incredibly permeable area. That being said putting toxins directly on this area seems incredibly unsafe. Whatever comes in contact with our skin is being absorbed in to our bloodstream and our bodies. We need to get these toxic chemicals out of these products. It only seems fair that companies are required to identify what is in these products so that women can make an informed decision for themselves. People have the right to make informed choices when it comes to their bodies.
My mission is to provide families with healthier reusable alternatives and to educate people on what is happening with regards to product labelling and the impact of these products on our health. Not only is our environment being severely impacted by our menstrual cycle but our health is being impacted as well.
For more information on cloth pads and other reusable products for yourself, your period, or your family please connect with me.
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